Owners of Doncaster deli left defeated following most recent burglary

The owners of a business which has been at the heart of Doncaster town centre for nine years are shutting up shop after a recent burglary.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 12:36 pm
Updated Monday, 4th June 2018, 9:37 am
Annie and Mark Oakley say enough is enough after being subject to another break in

Torrs English Deli, run by Annie and Mark Oakley, has been a popular site for many looking for a bite to eat on Printing Office Street.

But the couple have also endured their fair share of heartache - the deli has been burgled three times within the last five years.

Annie and Mark Oakley, pictured at Torrs English Deli, on Printing Office Street.

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Following a burglary on Wednesday, May 30, the owners have said enough is enough.

After arriving for work on the morning on the incident, Annie said that the glass front door of the shop had been smashed.

"We always seem to cop for it. This time the door had already been boarded up before we got there, I presume to make sure nobody else got in," said Annie, of Town Moor Avenue, in Doncaster.

South Yorkshire Police attended the incident, which happened around 2.45am, and have since arrested the offender.

The thief took stole tip money and ran through the building leaving a trail of destruction.

Annie said: "They've caught the culprit but it doesn't pay our repair bills.

"We are left feeling totally demoralised, it's the last straw. It's getting us down.

"We decided this time that enough is enough and we are going to sell the business.

"It's tough enough in business as it is without all this.

"We don't like how Doncaster is going. Business is tough for everybody, but to have this happen repeatedly it knocks you every time."

It was only two years ago when the business last received a devastating blow.

Thieves ransacked the deli, knocking down walls and smashing the place apart, leaving the couple in a distressed state with a repair bill of more than £3,000.

Five years ago the couple also were subject to a spate of burglaries, which saw the windows being smashed three times in the space of a few months.

Annie said: "Coming into Doncaster depresses me. It's sad to see it going downhill. As it is, I don't see it coming up. I'm sure it will but it will take time and we've don't have that time.

"We're sick of fighting. We also get a lot of homeless people outside the cafe, not directly outside but they're round the town centre.

"They're taking spice and end up like zombies. Our customers don't want to see that, it's not nice."

The couple, who will both turn 60 this year, have no plans yet for the future after the business.

"Coming to work in the morning you don't know what you're going to face, it's too much to deal with at our age," Annie said.

Doncaster town centre has recently been hit by 16 burglaries in May, but South Yorkshire Police said they are doing everything they can to tackle the issue.

Local Inspector Lynne Lancaster said: “We currently have a number of ongoing investigations into reported burglaries in the town centre area of Doncaster.

“These investigations are being progressed by teams of dedicated officers and earlier this week a 21-year-old man was charged burglary.

"Jordan Rowe, of Abbott Street, Doncaster, was charged in connection with a number of reported burglaries in the town centre.

“I understand these burglaries will have caused distresses and disruption to both business owners and the local community, and we are working with closely with our partners to tackle this.

“We also have a dedicated crime prevention officer who works with our local business to provide advice and raise awareness of steps that can be taken to increase safety.

“Our commitment remains tackling crime and keeping our communities safe."

Anyone with information relating to the burglaries should contact South Yorkshire Police on 101.