THE high spirits of a shop owner who is set to celebrate his store’s tenth anniversary next month have been dampened by a brazen theft.
About £100 worth of milk and bread was stolen from outside the Harting Village Stores early last Wednesday, morning, leaving Pete Cragg, who runs the store, baffled.
“I think really it is just a very irritating situation,” he said.
“We are a really successful little shop but it is hard work, and long hours, and then for something like this to happen it is frustrating.
“It isn’t mega bucks we’ve lost, but it is a setback and another thing we had to think about.
“It was either an opportunist who just drove by and picked it all up – maybe someone clocked it and thought they would want to keep it.
“The delivery was only sitting there for such a short timethough – ten minutes later it had gone which makes me think it was premeditated, esepcially as it was so early in the morning.”
The delivery of goods was taken between 5.30am and 5.55am.
“We can’t afford for it to happen again, and have the chancer try his luck next week. So we will be making changes,” said Pete.
“For that day, we were out of milk, and I had to buy even more which was an extra expense.
“I had to put signs on the chiller to let people know why we were out that day.”
The village shop is very popular, with many people not only relying on it for their basics, but they also know they can pick up a few different things.
“We have got a lot of support from the villagers,” said Pete.
“You are always battling against supermarkets you see. Their prices are fantastic but we can help people by being convenient and right on their doorstep.”
Harting resident, John Dunn, said he couldn’t think what anyone would want with so much food.
“There is no rhyme or reason to it – and nothing similar has happened any where else that we know of so we have nothing to go on,” he said.
The shop prides itself on selling locally-sourced produce, including cheese, meat and pastries.