A COLCHESTER business owner has issued a warning after low-life crooks smashed their way into his shop and stole a charity pot.

Keys Is Us, in London Road, Lexden, was targeted by thieves at about 7.18pm on Sunday night, setting off an alarm which alerted owner Peter Edwards to the break-in. 

Mr Edwards business specialises in keys and has more than 6,000 different house and security keys in stock, as well as replacement and remote car keys. 

After rushing to the shop, he realised the glass on the lower part of the front door had been destroyed, leaving glass shards around the door and a hole big enough to enter the shop. 

A charity pot had also been stolen from inside.


He said: “Last night the alarm company rang my phone and said it had been activated.  

“I flew down to my shop and obviously someone had smashed through the bottom of the door and nicked the old air ambulance charity pot.” 

According to Mr Edwards, his shop is not the only one to fall victim to a break-in in recent days.

On Thursday night, a similar incident occurred at beauty salon Brown&White, also in London Road, when a brick was used to smash its glass door before money was stolen from the till. 

Worried Mr Edwards added: “A couple of other shops have been broken into over the weekend.

"It's the same sort of thing, [with the crooks] breaking the bottom of the glass - it's the same scenario.” 

The latest break-in at Mr Edward's shop is not the first, and he is now determined to further protect the shop to prevent further incidents. 

“We will probably have shutters put up now because this person's going around more than one place," he said.

“It's about making people aware. Maybe they could be in the same situation.

The shop owner has since asked other businesses and residents for help in gathering information about the incident and sharing CCTV footage. 

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We were called to reports of a burglary at a business in London Road, Colchester, shortly before 7.25 pm on Sunday November 12.

“It was reported a door was damaged and entry gained to the property.

“Our enquiries into this incident are continuing and we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

“If you have any information, CCTV, dash cam or other footage in relation to this incident, then please get in contact with us.

“Please quote the crime reference number 42/202049/23."