A chocolate shop owner feels like the sense of security in his village has been ‘shattered’ following three burglaries at his store.
Charles Hardy, who runs The Old Fire Station Chocolate Shop and Coffee Shop in Tarporley with his wife Sandra, said the past few weeks have been ‘horrendous’ for his staff and for the community following a spate of burglaries at his shop.
The first burglary was reported to Cheshire Police on March 13 earlier this year when Mr Hardy noticed a glass panel had been taken out of the shop window along with a quantity of money from the shop.
Two more burglaries were reported on Thursday, September 1 and Thursday, September 8.
Patrick Taylor, 23, of Wrexham Road in Ridley has since pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, obstructing a constable, assault by beating and assault with intent to resist arrest and will appear before crown court for sentence on Friday, October 14.
“I often describe Tarporley as a real village should be in the heart of relaxing Cheshire,” he said.
“We don’t have shutters on windows or padlocks on doors, it is a trusting and caring community.
“I have been trading here for 22 years and I’m constantly shocked by how much good will is in our community.
“When something like this happens, it shatters the relaxed atmosphere and sense of security.
“The village is far less trusting now and it has made the community very cautious.”
Hundreds of pounds were stolen over the tree burglaries but Mr Hardy said it is the effect the incident has had on the community which is more important.
“The staff here, along with my wife and I, work long hours to make the business viable,” he added.
“We are open nine hours each day and only shut on three days each year.
“The theft of money is important to us but of more importance is the effect the thefts will have on the character of the village.”
Mr Hardy said he is ‘scared of a similar incident taking place again’.
“One does wonder when burgled three times, it might happen again.
“Tarporley has always been a very caring village with good will and good spirits, but this has caused a lot of aggravation in the community - it make me very angry."