Mansfield shop owners come face-to-face with burglar during 'terrifying' broad daylight raid

The owners of a Mansfield town centre shop have spoken of the terrifying moment they came face-to-face with a burglar during a raid at their premises.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 6:33 pm

Rowena Bratescu and Lois Thomas disturbed the raiders ransacking the shop when they arrived to open The Arcade Treasure Chest in the town’s Handley Arcade on Tuesday morning.

Police were at the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised but the burglars had already fled the arcade – where another shop was targeted by thieves last week.

Now devastated Rowena and Lois say it is ‘hard to tell’ what is missing or how much damage has been caused to their shop – which sells collectables and antiques and only reopened to the public on April 12 when lockdown measures eased.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Arcade Treasure Chest in Mansfield is the second shop to be targeted in less than a week.

“It was terrifying – they were here when we opened up,” said Rowena. "We didn’t expect it, and they ran away as soon as they saw us.

"Police came really quickly but they didn’t manage to find them. We are both so upset and it’s hard to tell how at the moment exactly how much money we have lost.

"We are physically ok, but obviously heartbroken, and this is the second attack on the arcade in a week.”

Police are now appealing for any witnesses who may have been in the area at the time to come forward.

The shop was closed on Tuesday while investigations continue into the break-in.

Sgt Neil Priestley said: "Nottinghamshire Police were called at around 9.50am on 27 April 2021 following a report of a shop theft in Mansfield.

"Officers attended within minutes to Leeming Street in the town, but the alleged offender had left prior to police arrival.

"A window has been smashed, with several glass cabinets left open and items were left on the floor.

"The victim is clearly very distressed following the incident, officers are supporting her welfare.

"Theft is totally unacceptable and we will always take action against offenders.

“Incidents like these not only harm businesses financially, but they can also be incredibly distressing for staff within the stores.

"We are now appealing to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at that time to come forward.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 144 of 27 April 2021.

Nearby Arcade Collectables was also targeted last week.

Read the full story here.

A message from the editor:

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever.

Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper.

We stand together.

Ashley Booker, editor.