CROOKS tried to break into a family-run business in Colchester, only to give up after damaging the front door.

Brunch, which is run by Lisa and Lois Gant in Middleborough, Colchester, was subjected to an attempted break-in in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with a man and a woman trying to force their way in through the front of the shop.

CCTV footage from inside the eatery caught the two suspects, with the damage discovered at 7am the following morning when Lois Gant turned up to open the shop.

Miss Gant, who is 27 and co-owns the business with her mum, Lisa, added that when other businesses found out what had happened, they found similar break-ins had been attempted.

She said: “It looked like a screwdriver had been used to pick out the glass on the side of the door.

“From that point, we took a look at the CCTV and just managed to see the videos.

Gazette: Lois and Lisa Gant, who co-own Brunch, discovered the attempted break-in on Tuesday morningLois and Lisa Gant, who co-own Brunch, discovered the attempted break-in on Tuesday morning (Image: Brunch Café)

“But we went to a neighbour who is a newsagent next door, and his footage showed images of them; we thought that would be the end of it, but it turns out that multiple businesses messaged us saying the exact same thing – that a man and woman were trying to get into their business.”

It is not the first incident to have affected Brunch, which had its front door kicked in two years ago by vandals.

“It’s another cost for a small business,” Miss Gant added.

Despite the upset caused by the crime, Miss Gant said the responses and messages of support from other small businesses has allowed her to take heart.

Jon Whiting, who runs Security Smart UK from North Hill, has even offered to install a burglar alarm in the café free of charge.

“The response from everybody in Colchester has been next to none – we’ve had so many businesses reaching out to us.

Gazette: The smashed window outside BrunchThe smashed window outside Brunch (Image: Brunch)

“It’s just sad that it happens to so many people, but not much action is taken from that.”

A spokesman from Essex Police confirmed it is investigating the attempted burglary.

Anybody who is has any information on the incident should contact Essex Police and state crime reference number 42/10374/23.