RESTAURANTS TARGETED IN CRIME SPREE
Warning after spate of break-ins costs businesses thousands of pounds
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.”
Russell Bullimore, owner of Bully’s Restaurant, Cardiff, which was broken into and the till stolen