The Dunstable community is rallying together to support a business and a youth centre which have suffered break-ins during the run up to Christmas.
Creations Hairdressing Ltd, of Katherine Drive, and the Pioneer Youth and Community Centre, Manchester Place, were both targeted over the past week.
On Thursday morning (November 22) the hair salon was broken into and had £60 cash and around £3,000 worth of electrical goods stolen, while on Saturday (November 24) the community centre had cameras and other equipment taken which belonged to Dunstable Community Radio.
Mario Sansone, co-owner of Creations Hairdressing Ltd, claimed: “It happened on Thursday morning at about 2.40am and we have got CCTV.
“A man broke in through the door and was struggling to get in because it is secured with toughened glass.
“He had a couple of tools with him but gave up and used some sort of hammer to crack the glass and then kicked in the bottom right hand corner.
“He came in and we’ve got a big GHD [hair straightener] stand; he went directly to that, grabbed a couple and then left.
“However, the alarm didn’t trigger straight away, so he came back around 15 minutes later. That triggered the alarm that notified me and my brother. He just cleared it out; it was Black Friday so we had lots of stock on there. It’s very, very rare that we put that much stock on a stand like that.
“People had reserved items and now I will have to try and re-order them.”
Luckily for co-owners and brothers, Mario and Peter, Dunstable Glass were able to fit a new door that morning and the shop was able to re-open.
The pair have also praised Bedfordshire Police for visiting them promptly at 8.30am.
Meanwhile, Dunstable Community Radio has been left “heartbroken” after £1,500 to £2,000 worth of equipment was taken early Sunday morning from their base at the Pioneer Youth and Community Centre.
Sammiee Fowler, volunteer and operations manager at Dunstable Community Radio, claimed: “I came at about 5.30pm on Sunday and was about to set up in the studio when I noticed one of the lights on and I realised that our cupboard door was open, and that the room next to that where all our lockers are was open. The locks had been ripped off and our stuff was thrown all over the floor.
“The fridge door was also open; stuff had been thrown all over the floor and plates smashed. The gym door had been busted open, probably with a crowbar.
“I have been told CCTV shows two adult men, one in a hi-vis and another dressed in grey.”
Sammiee says the outside gate down the building’s alley way had been forced open, while razor wiring was half pulled off its fence.
The outside door to the gym had also been “ripped open”, “possibly with a crowbar”, and a door leading from the gym into the small hall had also been forced open.
Unfortunately, the community radio had two cameras, two computers, and one mixer taken, while Sammiee says that other cables and connections also appear to be missing.
The presenter is also worried that other groups or sports organisations using the centre may have been affected, too.
She added: “This has stopped us being able to go to live events and broadcast.
“We are pretty much heartbroken to be honest. It’s a community show and people put so much time and effort and give up their time to keep it going.”
Mario said: “I’m pragmatic. We’ve been here 19 years and and never had anything like this happen before. I’d like to thank everybody for sharing our appeal. We’ve had a great response.
There’s just a few rotten eggs spoiling things for the good people in our community.”
Dunstable Community Radio would also like to thank people for their support and has vowed to “rise above” the break-in.
It is appealing for donations to help with the equipment. To get in touch, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call: 07952644926 or download the Dunstable Community Radio app (from any platform).
Commenting on the break-in at Creations Hairdressing Ltd, a Bedfordshire Police spokesman, said: “We were called at approximately 5.50am on Thursday to a report of a break in at a commercial property in Katherine Drive, Dunstable.
“Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Bedfordshire Police on 101 quoting reference number 40/39180/18.”
Commenting on the break-in at the community centre, a Bedfordshire Police spokesman added: “We received a report of a burglary at the Pioneer Boys Club in Manchester Place, Dunstable, which officers are currently investigating.
“A number of items were taken, including laptops and cameras. It’s thought that the break-in took place at around 12.30am on Sunday, and we would ask anyone who noticed anything suspicious at the time to get in touch. 40/39898/18.”