RAIDERS have targeted Yankee Candles in two Cardiff incidents in the past week after a similar £4,000 burglary was carried out last month.
John McCarthy, 69, arrived at his Whitchurch store, Cardiff Bed & Furniture Centre, last Wednesday to find his window smashed – the same one he had replaced after the first break-in on January 12.
Three nights later, in the early hours of Saturday, burglars took £3,500 worth of candles from Yankee Store on Wellfield Road, Roath.
Witnesses alerted police who went to the home of shop owner, Steven Corfield, to inform him of the burglary.
CCTV from the shop appears to show two men and a woman breaking down Yankee Store’s front door and shutters shortly after midnight.
Mr Corfield, 40,who has been running his business for seven years, said: “Yankee Candles are my whole store. I don’t have a back-up.
“Opening on Saturday morning for Valentine’s Day trade was very difficult.
“I couldn’t let my customers down. They are being so understanding and said they would wait for us to restock.”
At Cardiff Bed & Furniture Centre the burglars stole £300 to £400 worth of Yankee Candles and caused £800 worth of damage.
Mr McCarthy said he would shoulder the estimated £1,200 cost without insurance, as he had previously claimed around £5,000 after last month’s burglary.
The day before the latest burglary in Whitchurch, Mr McCarthy had a “state-of-the-art” alarm system installed at his store. He believes this frightened the burglars when they broke in that night.
Mr McCarthy plans to strengthen security for his store even further. He said: “This second break-in has cost me a considerable amount.
“I told the police I just want to put a big Alsatian dog in my shop.”
Whitchurch councillor Jonathan Evans, chairman of Cardiff West Neighbourhood Management Committee, said: “This is very distressing for Mr McCarthy and other local people who are victims of crime.
“As councillors we liaise closely with the police and community organisations on such issues. We also meet regularly with police, council officers and partners at Cardiff West Neighbourhood Management Committee to analyse local crime trends in a systematic, evidence-based way and together develop strategies to reduce the risk of further offences being committed.
“Rest assured we will look closely at recent crime incidents and analyse whether they represent a wider upward trend in commercial burglaries.”
Rhodri Kendall, a spokesman for South Wales Police, said: “Police in Cardiff are investigating a burglary at the Yankee Candle Store on Wellfield Road which happened shortly after midnight on Saturday February 14.
“A 31-year-old man, Gareth Whitehouse from Roath has been charged with burglary and three motoring offences. He has been released on police bail and will appear before Cardiff magistrates Court on March 1.”