A Keighley newsagent said his livelihood was under attack after the second burglary in a month.
Abul Barkat, who has owned Habeeb’s Newsagent in High Street for more than 12 years, said the raiders inflicted damage costing thousands of pounds to repair and stole a large quantity of stock.
“It’s hard to express my feelings – but I’m angry and shocked,” he said.
“I want to stay here, and my regular customers want me to stay. But business is already difficult. It’s just me working here – I can’t afford to employ another person. I’d had the damage from the first burglary fixed, now this has happened again.”
His friend, Ahsan Ullah, said Mr Barkat worked long hours to provide for his wife and children, only to be repeatedly targeted by criminals. The latest burglary occurred last Thursday morning.
Mr Barkat, who lives in Knowle Park, said the criminals destroyed a padlock, wrenched free a metal grille, then smashed their way through one of the shop’s front windows.
They ransacked the premises, stealing packets of cigarettes, along with sweets and energy drinks. They left behind a crowbar, which was discovered lying on the shop counter.
Mr Barkat said the burglary had cost more than £2,000 due to loss of stock and damage.
The latest raid happened little more than a fortnight after a previous incident, when thieves battered their way through the front door overnight on November 6. On that occasion they took cigarettes, sweets and drinks, costing the business a further £2,000.
Mr Barkat said footage from a neighbour’s security camera showed two people wearing masks outside his shop. “I was also burgled about four or five years ago,” he added.
Inspector Tony Reed, of the Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I can fully appreciate the impact such offences can have on local businesses, particularly having being targeted in this way.
“We are not prepared to accept this and we are focusing our resources upon the town centre to ensure a visible presence throughout the day.
“Officers are working closely with the victim, looking at crime prevention measures that could be employed in the premises.
“If anyone has witnessed either of these incidents, or has any information about those responsible, we would like them to contact us on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.”