Lewes supermarket forced to throw away stock after vandals strike

Hundreds of pounds worth of damage was caused at a Lewes supermarket after vandals climbed on the roof and tampered with electrics.

Members of staff at Waitrose, in Eastgate Street, Lewes, were forced to throw away chilled and frozen stock because of the resultant gas leak.

Staff at the store called fire crews after detecting the leak in the early hours of Sunday morning. Fire crews from Barcombe, Hove and Lewes arrived at the store and quickly had the incident under control.

No members of staff were affected in the incident.

Chief Inspector Jason Tingley, Lewes District Commander, said: “We take incidents like this really seriously considering the impact on Waitrose and their customers.

“I would urge anyone with any information to come forward, as it is very likely that the offenders are local.”

Waitrose confirmed that the vandals gained access by the roof of the building.

Three compressors for the refrigerators were damaged, meaning that the store was forced to throw away products. Customers were met with rows of empty aisles

A spokesman for Sussex Police said said: “The Waitrose in Lewes had a gas leak, which we were informed about by East Sussex Fire and Rescue at 3.14am on August 4.”

A Waitrose spokesman said: “We called the fire service after detecting a refrigeration fault caused by a person tampering with the external units.

“We’re grateful to the emergency services for their prompt response and as a precaution took the affected products off the shelves.”