Sheffield becoming 'shutter city', says owner of city centre bar raided three times in a month
Sheffield is in danger of becoming ‘shutter city’, the owner of a popular bar raided for the third time in a month has warned.
The door to Maggie May’s on Trippet Lane in the city centre was forced open on Tuesday, January 7, just before 3.30am, and 10 bottles of spirits were taken.
The owner Gary Sinclair, who does the stadium announcements for Sheffield United, said it was the third time the venue had been targeted in four weeks and the modus operandi suggested the same man was responsible for all three break-ins.
He claims numerous other city centre businesses have been burgled in recent weeks and believes a big rise in homelessness is at least partly to blame for the crime wave.
“The guy who broke in this morning only took a couple of hundred pounds worth of spirits but it’s going to cost around £3,000 to repair the doors and install shutters.
“Because of the characteristics of the burglaries we think it’s someone from the homeless community.
“When we first got done the sandwich shop opposite was targeted that same morning, and there have also been break-ins at the vape store and burger restaurant on Leopold Street, All Bar One and Woody’s, among other businesses.
“The rise in homelessness isn’t unique to Sheffield, and national solutions are needed, but it’s having a big impact on businesses here, especially regarding people’s perceptions of the city centre.
“If nothing’s done, Sheffield’s going to end up being shutter city.
“As well as the break-ins, there's a problem with persistent and aggressive begging.
“There were only one or two homeless people on the streets in the city centre when we opened eight years ago, but now it’s endemic.”
Mr Sinclair, who said the venue would remain closed today and tomorrow before reopening on Thursday, January 9, has offered to reward anyone who provides information leading to a conviction.
He has shared CCTV images showing a man in a blue top carrying a Nike holdall and a second man in a grey top at the premises, both of whom he is seeking to identify.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident number 82 of January 7.