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Woodbridge Mayor calls for action after Galley restaurant break-in

PUBLISHED: 20:00 11 January 2018

Owner of The Galley, Ugur Vatar, stands where the cash machine formerly stood.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Owner of The Galley, Ugur Vatar, stands where the cash machine formerly stood. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Mayor of Woodbridge has called for action after a restaurant became the latest business in Suffolk to be targeted by thieves or damaged.

Extensive damage was caused to The Galley Restaurant in Woodbridge. Picture: THE GALLEY RESTAURANT Extensive damage was caused to The Galley Restaurant in Woodbridge. Picture: THE GALLEY RESTAURANT

A till containing £100 was stolen from the Galley Restaurant, in Market Hill, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Extensive damage was caused to the restaurant with the front door being smashed by the offenders to make their way inside.

Restaurant owner Ugur Vata was first alerted to an intrusion by his security system.

“I could not see anything on my remote control cameras,” he said.

The Galley Restaurant in Woodbridge has been targeted by thieves. Picture: THE GALLEY RESTAURANT The Galley Restaurant in Woodbridge has been targeted by thieves. Picture: THE GALLEY RESTAURANT

“Then an hour later my alarm went off again. I looked again and could see somebody in the bar area.

“I could not see exactly what he was doing, but I immediately called the police and they were here within three to four minutes.

Owner of The Galley Ugur Vatar next to the smashed door.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Owner of The Galley Ugur Vatar next to the smashed door. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“They were here so quick. I cannot praise them enough.”

Clare Perkins, Mayor of Woodbridge, said she had been in talks with Suffolk Police and Crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, after recent incidents and confirmed yesterday that a meeting would be held in the town with a senior police officer.

Mayor of Woodbridge Clare Perkins. Picture: TOM POTTER Mayor of Woodbridge Clare Perkins. Picture: TOM POTTER

“I am absolutely appalled,” said Mayor Perkins.

“I would not want to think these people are locals. It’s got to stop.”

Mr Vata said he was grateful more cash had not been left on the premises, but said it was “especially damaging” to his livelihood.

He added: “Whoever did it took the whole till and the side printer which prints the bills, and there is very extensive damage to this listed building. They smashed through the front door.

“It is quite frustrating. It is a waste of people’s time.

“The irony is that, since New Year’s Day, we were closed for nine days. We re-opened yesterday and only had a handful of people. All of them paid by card. We had 80 customers on Christmas Day and not one person paid cash. People only pay by card these days.”

A Choose Woodbridge spokesman said: “We are appalled at this behaviour. The Galley is not only highly respected Restaurant, but is beautifully decorated.

“Needless and upsetting damage was caused.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman confirmed the details of the break-in.

Woodbridge is not the only town to have suffered criminal damage and break-ins in recent days.

Police are currently investigating a possible link between a number of burglaries and attempted burglaries at businesses in Southwold.

The spate of crimes are all believed to have taken place between Saturday, January 6 and Monday, January 8 at the firms which are all located in High Street.

The incidents happened at

The Black Olive Delicatessen, the St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop, Observatory the Opticians, the Two Magpies Bakery and The Sue Ryder Care shop.

In many of the cases suspects attempted to force entry to the buildings through the back with windows being smashed in a number of instances.

Police patrols in the area have been stepped up this week with business owners all being given advice on how to prevent becoming victims of crime again.

Anyone with any information on any of the incidents is urged to call 101.

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