David and Emma Mann opened up their shop Flushed in Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings Old Town, on Saturday morning (January 8) to find it had been “ransacked” by burglars the night before, and a number of items stolen.
Emma, 52, a former primary school teacher in Hastings, said: “It’s really depressing because it’s obviously not been easy for businesses over the past couple of years. And Christmas is a really important time of year for us and it was quite a difficult Christmas, so it was really upsetting to come in and find that. And also it’s just worrying because it makes you feel vulnerable.”
She added: “When we opened up on Saturday morning, we noticed the lights were on inside, which was obviously unusual, and the kitchen and store room had stuff strewn all over the floor. Everything was pulled out, so it was quite obvious someone had been in and was looking for money presumably, but we don’t keep any money on site so they hadn’t found anything. They seemed to have broken in through a window. It’s quite hard with an antiques shop because we’ve got so many things, and they’re all different, to work out what’s been stolen, so we looked round and tried to work out where there were gaps where things were missing. We called the police and they were really helpful and came out really fast and fingerprinted the shop.”
Emma and her husband David, 62, who works as a production manager in theatres in London, opened the antiques shop six years ago and have been broken into three times. The last time was four years ago, and they reinforced all the doors to make it more secure. They said one of the most striking items taken in Friday night’s burglary was a large antique brass plant pot that was in the shop window. They released a photo of a similar antique on their Facebook page, but said the one stolen had inlaid coloured glass. The shop is at the end of Rock-a-Nore Road, opposite the entrance to the car park, and sells antiques and vintage goods, as well as tea and cakes.
There were a number of comments from people on social media offering their sympathy after they heard about the break-in. Sarah Walsh wrote: “This is rubbish. I hope the CCTV in the car park was able to pick up activity. We love your shop. Don’t be beaten by this.” Hazel Alcock added: “That’s awful news. What a rotten way to start 2022. Love to you all.”
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “At 11am on Saturday morning 8 January police received a report that sometime the previous night a shop - Flushed at Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings - had been broken into and a pot valued at £50 had been stolen. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police either online or by calling 101, quoting serial 360 of 08/01.”