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Two Oxford Co-op stores are left to count the costs of bungled break-ins
STAFF at two Co-operative stores in Oxford are counting the cost after they were both broken into in the early hours of the morning.
The store in Cherwell Drive, Marston, was broken into at about 3am yesterday while the shop in Old Marston Road, Marston, was then targeted at about 4.45am.
Although the would-be thieves didn’t get away with anything, the break-ins caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Haydn Scarlett, manager of the Cherwell Drive store, said: “There was a break-in at about 3am.
“Two men broke into the store by the back door and ripped the alarm off, but didn’t take anything and then left.
“They left the door to the store unlocked which means they maybe got disturbed or planned to come back later.”
Mr Scarlett, 28, who has been manager at the shop since 2007, said: “I got to the store at about 4.20am which was earlier than usual as the promotion offers on our shelves were changing and so I had to deal with that.
“I was suspicious as the door was unlocked and because the security lights didn’t come on as usual.
“I then set off the security smoke system which comes on when you enter the till as it thinks there is an intruder.
“We weren’t able to turn off the alarm and the smoke system was set off five times, which filled the whole store with smoke.”
Mr Scarlett said the break-in had cost the shop an estimated £3,000 from half a day of trade.
He thought the damage to the alarm panel and the door lock would cost between £100 to £300.
James Williams from Thames Valley Police said the burglary at the Old Marston Road Co-operative store happened at about 4.45am and that “unknown offenders entered by forcing a side door”.
Last night he said it was “not yet known whether anything was taken during the incident”.
There was also a shoplifting incident at the Co-operative store in Banbury Road, Summertown, yesterday, Mr Williams added.
He said that Thames Valley Police were investigating the two burglaries in Marston.
Anyone with any information about the break-in at Cherwell Drive should contact Pc Lee Gilbert and for the Old Marston Road burglary should contact Pc Jamie Howell on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.