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Burglars tunnel into Highgate newsagents to swipe £7,000 of cash and stock

10:00 20 March 2014

Adhir Das, owner of Highgate Plus in Archway Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Adhir Das, owner of Highgate Plus in Archway Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The owner of a Highgate newsagents said he is scared to go to work after burglars tunnelled into his shop to steal £7,000 worth of cash and stock.

Burglars drilled through a 12in wall to get into Highgate Plus newsagents, in Archway RoadBurglars drilled through a 12in wall to get into Highgate Plus newsagents, in Archway Road

Thieves drilled through a 12-inch wall to break into the basement of Highgate Plus in Archway Road in the early hours of Monday, March 17.

They took £3,000 from the till and £4,000 worth of alcohol and tobacco, including expensive bottles of Glenfiddich and Chivas Regal whiskey, according to owner Adhir Das.

“I feel scared,” the 52-year-old said. “There is just one person working here so if anything happened, I don’t know.

“If [the police] catch them, then I feel like they have been punished but, otherwise, people will do whatever they feel like.

“It’s the innocent people who are always going to suffer. There’s no justice, basically. If [the police] don’t take action, it will happen again. If they can cut through a 12-inch wall, they can cut through my shutters and blow up my shop. They can do anything.”

Shop assistant Dush Biswas heard a loud drilling noise on Sunday afternoon but he thought someone was putting up shelves next door to the newsagents.

He locked up the shop at 10pm but did not notice anything unusual.

Mr Das then got a call from his security company at about 1am on Monday after one of the alarms went off.

He rushed down to the shop but he could not see any signs of a break-in so he left shortly afterwards.

The alarm went off again at 4am but Mr Das slept through the second call from his security company.

When he went to work a few hours later, he found his security camera covered in shaving foam, cigarettes piled on the floor and his shop ransacked.

When he went down to the basement, he discovered the hole in the wall.

“I felt very shocked,” said Mr Das, of Southgate. “We are working hard all the time here, it’s only a small shop.”

It is Mr Das’ second burglary in the 10 years he has owned the shop. He said it will take six months to make a profit again and he has thought about selling up.

He added that it will cost him about £1,500 to repair the wall and install a new security camera and alarm.

“Most of the time this is a nice area and 99 per cent of the customers are good but we do get some who come in making trouble and they are spoiling this area.”

A police investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.

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