RES­TAU­RANTS TAR­GETED IN CRIME SPREE

Warn­ing af­ter spate of break-ins costs busi­nesses thou­sands of pounds

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - ANNA LEWIS AND BRONTE HOWARD Re­porters anna.lewis@waleson­line.co.uk

ONE of the best-known and best-loved res­tau­rants in the Welsh cap­i­tal, Bully’s, has been tar­geted by thieves as part of a spate of bur­glar­ies af­fect­ing Cardiff busi­nesses.

The fine din­ing venue is the lat­est to be raided along with three other res­tau­rants in the Pont­canna area.

La Cuina, The Smoke House and Rock and Malt have all had to pay thou­sands of pounds’ worth of dam­ages af­ter each break-in.

Man­agers are now warn­ing other shops in the area to take care in the run-up to the Christ­mas pe­riod.

Bully’s owner Rus­sell Bul­limore said po­lice were called to the res­tau­rant on Thurs­day af­ter a “grab and run” overnight.

The empty till was later dis­cov­ered at Llandaff play­ing fields.

Mr Bul­limore said: “They smashed the front door, which was a heavy door with three dif­fer­ent drum locks.

“It was only about mid­night but the blinds were drawn and the lights were off so no-one could see any­thing.

“They cer­tainly were not con­nois­seurs of fine wines or any­thing like that so noth­ing else was taken and no elec­tric goods were taken, it was just the till.

“It just had the float in it. The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple don’t pay by cash any­way.

“It’s just the in­con­ve­nience as you have to get the car­pen­ter and lock smith in and you have to make the in­sur­ance com­pany aware. It’s that knock-on ef­fect.

“Un­for­tu­nately there are no mo­bile cam­eras in this area which we have tried to pur­sue with the coun­cil but it’s costly.”

Wyn­d­ham Cres­cent fish and chip shop Rock and Malt said they were told to in­stall shut­ters by po­lice af­ter re­port­ing three break-ins in two months.

Man­ager Na­heed Ma­lik said: “The thing is it’s a nice area and there are nice shops here. Po­lice are sug­gest­ing we put shut­ters up but it will spoil the area, it won’t look nice.

“We don’t leave any money here any­way, we open the till and leave it on the counter to let them know there’s noth­ing there.

“It’s a real nui­sance. There is noth­ing to take here, there’s just a freezer full of soft drinks.

“They broke the door the first time and the last time they came through the back. They made a real mess in there last time as they were just look­ing for money.”

La Cuina man­ager Hamir Bouch­lid said the Span­ish res­tau­rant on Kings Road was bur­gled two weeks ago.

He said: “The alarm went off and the po­lice came. They took the till and dam­aged the door but ev­ery­thing was cov­ered by in­sur­ance. “It’s just a waste of time.” For Smoke House owner Jaz Davies, the cost of re­pair­ing the res­tau­rant af­ter a bur­glary is the big­gest worry.

The Amer­i­can-themed res­tau­rant on Pont­canna Street has had two break-ins this year alone, one in March, one in June.

She said: “I think they are just tar­get­ing tills, to be hon­est.

“There’s noth­ing ever in our tills. It costs more in dam­age than what is taken. The sec­ond time it cost us £1,000 in dam­ages.

“I don’t think there’s any­thing you can do. You have cam­eras but you can’t see their faces, it’s dif­fi­cult.

“I would just tell busi­ness own­ers to never leave alone at the end of the night.”

A spokes­woman for South Wales Po­lice said: “We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a num­ber of com­mer­cial bur­glar­ies in the Pont­canna area.

“We re­ceived re­ports just be­fore 8am on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 25, of a bur­glary at a res­tau­rant in Romilly Cres­cent, Cardiff.

“And two other res­tau­rants – one in Wyn­d­ham Cres­cent and an­other in Pont­canna Street – have also been bro­ken into this month.

“We would ap­peal to the com­mu­nity to re­port any sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour or in­di­vid­u­als in the area.

“We will not tol­er­ate this type of ac­tiv­ity in our neigh­bour­hoods and are con­tin­u­ing to thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gate all of these of­fences.”

RICHARD WILLIAMS

Rus­sell Bul­limore, owner of Bully’s Res­tau­rant, Cardiff, which was bro­ken into and the till stolen

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