Flood after lead theft devastates Devizes nursery store boss
9:28am Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
Thieves stole lead from the roof of Devizes children’s store Nursery Thyme, leaving it open to the elements.
And the resulting flooding has forced it to close at its busiest time of the year.
Distraught staff could not believe their eyes when they came into the shop on the Monday before Christmas to find thousands of pounds worth of stock ruined.
Carole Harris, who runs the shop in Wharfside arcade, near the Kennet and Avon Canal, said: “The lead was being replaced and there was scaffolding up, which is probably how they got up there.
“With the storms we have had the water came straight through and it was inches deep through the shop. We have had to close because the shop is flooded and we have no idea when we might open again.
"This should be our busiest time of the year and we are devastated.”
The store is not expected to reopen this week.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “The theft took place between Friday, December 20, and Monday, December 23. It is thought that the offence was carried out during night-time hours and it is also possible the offenders were disturbed, as a knife and an amount of lead that had already been dislodged was left.
“Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in the Couch Lane area who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously.”
Although the business is insured, the raid on the building at Wharfside is a major blow to Nursery Thyme, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011.
Despite competition from the internet, Mrs Harris and her staff have managed to thrive largely due to their cheerful and helpful service.
In 2011, Mrs Harris told the Gazette: “I would be surprised if they (the customers) managed to buy anything online cheaper than they could get it through us... after-sales service is something you can’t get on the web.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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