Crouch End pub ransacked and charity money stolen

Harringay Arms pub frontage

Clay Lorenzo took over the Harringay Arms in July 2021. - Credit: Frankie Lister-Fell

A laptop, sound system, light equipment, till full of cash and spirits worth £4,500 were stolen from the Harringay Arms during a break-in, and it is not the only burglary to happen on the street.

Clay Lorenzo, manager of Harringay Arms, said on Monday, May 16 his staff opened the pub to find that the door to its pizza restaurant was wide open. Then they realised that Clay's laptop, used for music, had been taken.

"We did a big charity event for London Air Ambulance two weeks before. I ran 50 miles in April for them. And then we did a big charity event on the Saturday and had a pot filled with all the charity money; that was taken too."

With the light and sound equipment missing, Clay has had to cancel the pub's upcoming gigs. 

He believes the break-in happened between 11.30pm and 11.30am the next morning. Police were called to the scene and took fingerprints.

As the pub's CCTV was not working at the time, he said its losses are not covered on insurance.

"I've used what money we've got to try and secure the place. New CCTV, bars on the door window, an alarm that fills the room with smoke if someone breaks in so they can't see," he said.

A loyal customer, Basho Dunsford, 71, has set up a crowdfunder to raise £10,000 for the pub, which amounts to the total worth of items stolen.

"I've found the Harringay Arms is such a welcoming and friendly environment," Basho said, "It's so inviting for all aspects of the community especially for the LGBT customers. I was horrified by the extent of how much was lost."

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A similar incident happened just up the road in September. Les 2 Garçons was broken into via the window above its door on a Saturday night after the staff had closed the restaurant.

Les 2 Garcons is at 134B Crouch Hill

French restaurant Les 2 Garçons, 134B Crouch Hill - Credit: Thomas Alexander

Owner Robert Reid said: "They took everything that was visible. Spirits, wines, cognac, a computer. We had just opened so all our stuff was new. We had wines that nobody else has because we bought them ourselves. We don't keep money on the premises anymore."

Robert has also had his phone and debit card stolen by someone on a bike just outside of the restaurant. 

"It's very frustrating. It's very disconcerting. It makes you feel vulnerable all the time," he said.

To donate to Basho's fundraiser visit www.gofundme.com/f/burglary-fundraiser-for-the-harringay-arms