An ice cream seller has been left furious after his business was targeted by thieves for the second time this year – despite being just yards from a police station.
Abdul Hashemi, 35, discovered his stall on Bonny Street had been broken into and a slushy machine worth £3,500 taken overnight.
But despite being in the shadow of the Fylde coast’s largest police station, he said it is the fourth such incident in as many months on the street.
Now, during a key trading month, he is unable to serve one of his most popular products and said business is taking a hit as a result.
Mr Hashemi said: “On Wednesday morning I came in to open the shop at 9am and the shutter was open and the window was broken.
“They tried to take the ice cream machine but it was too heavy so they took the slushy machine. That is the way I make a living – without that machine it is hard.”
Mr Hashemi also has a burger stand next to the ice cream stall, which he said was targeted by thieves earlier this year.
He said he was disappointed there have been so many incidents at the market when it is so close to the police station.
“This is a problem in the area but you would think it would be safe near a police station,” he added. “I lost business because I couldn’t trade until the police had been. They came and took some fingerprints.”
The station, which is the headquarters for the force’s Western Division, closes at 10pm. The incident took place overnight on Tuesday and police say they are investigating. A force spokesman said: “Between 6pm on August 5 and 9am on August 6, the offender has approached Sam’s Mr Soft Ice, an ice cream stall, forced open the shutters and stolen the Slush Puppie machine worth £3,500.
“Exactly how they have got it out is not clear. Inquiries are on-going and if anyone is offered a Slush Puppie machine they should contact police on 101.”