The owner of a town centre takeaway targeted in an overnight raid has called for police and residents to work together to tackle Newtown’s growing crime problem.
Sukru Ozdemir, who runs Baba Ali’s on Shortbridge Street, said finding out his business had been burgled last week was a huge shock after operating in Newtown for 10 years without incident.
The break-in, on Wednesday night, November 22, was followed days later by a raid at Dial-a-Ride in the Ladywell Centre, the latest two in a string of crimes against business premises in the town in recent months.
Sukru is now urging his fellow shop owners to protect themselves and each other by working with the police to prevent further incidents.
He said: “It’s obvious what’s been going on in the town lately. As business owners, we should do more about it.
“I should not have waited for it to happen to me to react.”
During the break in, the thieves stole around £500 in cash – including change – and even took the shop’s CCTV unit from above the suspended ceiling.
Baba Ali’s has since received an outpouring of support and hopes this will translate into direct action to catch those responsible.
Sukru is backing calls for an increased police presence and the town’s CCTV to be switched back on, which has now been promised by Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn.
“A lot of shops have been broken into lately and we haven’t seen anyone punished for it,” he said.
“We know this threat exists so we need to protect ourselves, lock our doors better and get more CCTV, but from our side that’s all we can do.
“There should be more CCTV around town, not just in individual businesses.”
He fears crimes against small businesses like his will only increase unless these steps are taken.
Sukru added: “I don’t think it’s dealt with seriously, because of the level of crime being committed.
“Last year a bike shop was broken into and about £60,000 of bikes stolen. They found the criminals straight away.
“This is a small town. If someone sees others doing these things and not getting caught, it will encourage them to do it as well. They have realised they can get away with it.
“As business owners, if we see a threat we should warn each other and the police.
“We all need to work together to stop this happening.”
Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating the burglary. Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to contact Newtown police on 101.
See full story in the County Times