Heathfield trader feels let down by Sussex Police

28th March

Smashed shop window in Heathfield

Temporary repairs to the front window of GoPhone in Heathfield

A Heathfield trader says he is dismayed at the response from the local police following a recent burglary.

Silviu Mocanu, who owns GoPhone in Heathfield High Street, is still in shock after the break in which saw all of his mobile phones on display in the window being taken.

The thieves smashed the large window pane at the front of the shop and managed to extract the goods through a hole. The burglary is believed to have taken place at around 1.30am on Monday 12th March.

Sadly, the incident happened almost a year after the shop opened and was something that Silviu never expected to happen in a town like Heathfield.

“Before I decided to set up a shop in Heathfield I did some research and found that it was a peaceful and safe town. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t install CCTV in my shop or put bars on the window. The day after the burglary I had CCTV installed as I can’t risk the same thing happening again,” said Silviu.

Silviu says something needs to be done about the police presence in the town especially as there has been a spate of burglaries recently.

“It takes 20 to 30 minutes for the police to arrive and by that time any criminals have gone. In my case they collected lots of evidence including fingerprints and blood samples but there hasn’t been any action since as far as I know. I was even told that I needed to go and talk to business and people nearby to ask whether they witnessed anything – I really thought that was what the police were supposed to do,” he added.

Around the same time as the GoPhone burglary, Woody’s Barbers was broken into. Thieves also broke into the Co-op via the fire escape and stole items from the concessions stand, according to staff. There have been reports of other attempted break ins near to GoPhone.

Andy Freeman, Senior Media Relations Officer Sussex Police, said: “A number of phones, a computer tablet and a laptop were stolen in the burglary of a shop in Heathfield.

“The Go Phone shop in High Street was targeted between 6pm on Monday, March 13 and 8.15am the following morning. A window was broken to gain access to the equipment on display.

“A crime scene investigator has undertaken a forensic examination of the scene and results are awaited. Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area overnight on that Monday or who has any information about the incident or the items stolen is asked to report online at https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or call 101 quoting serial 220 of 13/03.

“Three men are reported to have stolen alcohol in a shoplifting incident at the Co-op in High Street, Heathfield. The report was received at 8.13pm on March 15. We are awaiting CCTV from the shop.

“While demand and crime are increasing in Sussex and across the country we need to work smarter. If a member of the public can provide us with information to help us with one part of any enquiry to pursue those responsible we would welcome it.

“Whatever our level of resource we have to prioritise. We look at each case individually and we will always work to get the best outcomes, prioritising those cases there the greatest harm to victims and the community have been caused. The more the public can help with this kind of thing means that we can spend more time protecting vulnerable people and responding to emergencies.”