Northampton newsagents closes its doors after the same burglars smashed their way in twice in a week

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A shopkeeper is set to close the Northampton town centre newsagents he has run for 15 years after burglars raided his business twice in a week... just months after he was ram-raided.

Andrew Cruden has owned the Mace shop in St Giles Street since 2002, but has decided to end his lease on the premises today because of fears over his and his wife Sharon's safety.

Andrew Cruden has closed his newsagents in St Giles because he keeps getting targeted by burglars.

Andrew Cruden has closed his newsagents in St Giles because he keeps getting targeted by burglars.

Early on Friday morning, two men took cigarettes and scratch cards worth £3,500 before causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

But just as the business was recovering from the break-in, two raiders - almost certainly the same men - struck again.

On Tuesday morning, they took £250 worth of alcohol and two collection pots meant for cancer charities.

Now Mr Cruden says enough is enough, especially as the raids come just months after his shop was ram-raided in September.

A burglar leaps over the counter at Mr Cruden's shop in St Giles before taking a haul of goods.

A burglar leaps over the counter at Mr Cruden's shop in St Giles before taking a haul of goods.

"It has really worried my wife because she is in there on her own sometimes," he said.

"Yesterday, when she was at work she was always thinking, 'Are they going to do it again in the daytime'?

"We just thought it was time to call it a day there."

Mr Cruden said he enjoyed his time in St Giles Street and though he has a shop in Market Square, which will continue trading, he will miss some "fantastic customers".

The distinct marking on the back of one of the raider's jackets.

The distinct marking on the back of one of the raider's jackets.

But he said that part of town is poorly covered by CCTV, which is partly why he feels he has been targeted so many times.

"There has been a lot of this around town recently.

"Over the past three months there has been eight or nine businesses I know of hit by burglaries.

"I guess it's part of being a business owner now, there is always a chance you will be robbed, you just hope it doesn't happen to you."

A spokesperson for Northampton Borough Council said: “We manage an extensive network of CCTV cameras throughout the town centre, including the St Giles quarter. Of course, we hope that our CCTV network helps to deter crime however, the security of individual premises is a responsibility for business owners.

“CCTV surveillance has remained in operation on St Giles Street throughout, and a non-operational camera is due to be upgraded as part of a wider programme of investment in our CCTV network which will result in a much improved service across the town.”

The first burglary on Friday, March 31, happened at 3.34am and though the two men were masked, one man was wearing a distinct jacket, clearly visible on Mr Cruden's in-store CCTV footage.

The second raid was at 4.55am on Tuesday, April 4 and a man is wearing the same distinct jacket bearing the number "R5204".

If you know of any information that could help police, call the force on 101.