Thief’s Love Hearts break in

Jo Thomas from Alice's Tearoom, which was raided on Tuesday
Jo Thomas from Alice's Tearoom, which was raided on Tuesday
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A sweet-toothed raider is being hunted by police after breaking into a popular tearoom – and nabbing a cupboard full of treats.

The burglar also stole a bookings diary from Alice’s Tearooms in St Albans Road, St Annes, but left without taking any cash.

Officers are now investigating the strange break-in, which happened overnight on Tuesday into Wednesday, and have been able to recover fingerprints from the scene

“It’s very odd,” owner Jo Thomas said.

“You don’t think somebody will break in and steal your diary. It’s so hard when you are a small business.”

The thief removed a 100x39cm pane of glass above the front door before squeezing through and helping themselves to large bags of Love Hearts sweets and marshmallows, and the diary.

They left the same way, leaving the cafe almost untouched except for the glass pane, which was placed ‘carefully’ on the pavement outside.

Jo was able to open for trade on Wednesday, albeit slightly later while crime scene investigators carried out a forensic examination.

But with the diary being taken, Jo now has no way of knowing when some of her event bookings are going to turn up – leaving her scrambling to get the message out before a party turns up unexpectedly.

She said: “I have put on Facebook to say, ‘If you have a party booked, then please get in touch’. A lot of have been, which is really good.

“Most of my bookings are through Facebook because I have quite a big following, so hopefully people will know and get in touch with me.”

The book contained no personal information or bank details, stressed Jo, who expanded her business into a former cobbler’s premises next door last year.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “At 8.50am on Wednesday, we were told somebody had gone into the shop overnight and taken a diary and sweets from a cupboard.”

He continued: “The burglary is under investigation.”

SECOND CAFE BROKEN INTO ON THE SAME NIGHT

A burglar targeted a St Annes eatery the same night Alice’s Tearooms was broken into, it has emerged.

The thief broke into Anton’s Cafe in Park Road through a door before helping themselves to £40 from the cash register, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

A fridge was also ransacked, Jo from Alice’s Tearooms told The Gazette after she said she spoke to the owner there this week.

The raid was reported to officers at 9.30am on Wednesday, and happened at some point after 5pm the day before, the police spokesman added.

No arrests have been made, and information is being sought.

It can be reported by calling 101, quoting crime reference number WA1702579.

Nobody at the cafe, rated 4.5 out of five on TripAdvisor, could be reached yesterday.