A PENARTH businessman says it isn't going to be tolerated after a crime wave hit the town.

“Perfect Penarth” might feel like the country village where everyone knows your name, but the town has been blighted by an spate of thefts in recent months. 

Penarth Athletic Club, Penarth Lawn Tennis Club and Spencer’s Shoe Repair were all broken into in November 2023.

In an extraordinary two-week period in September last year, Allan Sadler, Foxy’s Deli, Tony’s Taste of Italy, Windsor Castle, Café 64, Pizza Pronto and a business on Terra Nova Way were all broken into.

One of the stores hit was the Hamptons, on Ludlow Lane, where, just before Christmas, £500 of stock was stolen right from under staffs’ noses.

Owner of the Hamptons, Peter Knowles, claims the store was deliberately targeted at a busy time in order for the thieves to get away with their loot.

One thing about these crimes is they are said to be brazen.

Mr Knowles described to us how he has seen people walk into stores on Windsor Road, rip things off the shelves, stuff their pockets and walk out.

Mr Knowles explained it is difficult to find the balance between asking his staff to remain vigilant, while taking into account their own safety.

“It’s difficult,” said Mr Knowles, “because you have to become more vigilant in watching people, but you don’t want them to feel unwelcome.”

Mr Knowles and business partner Andy Bradshaw described what happened to the Hamptons as unprecedented in the store’s history.

Their plan for tackling the thefts while keeping their staff safe is memory. If there is an incident, and Mr Knowles or Mr Bradshaw haven’t confronted the alleged perpetrator directly, they ask staff to memorise as much as they can in order to give the police an effective report.

Mr Knowles said if he caught someone stealing in his store, he would lock the door so they couldn’t escape and call the police, however, thankfully, he hasn’t had to come to this drastic measure yet.

Instead, his advice to fellow shopkeepers is to subtly let wannabe thieves know they’re being watched!

“Speak to your customer,” said Mr Knowles. “Make contact so they know you are there.”

Penarth Times: Peter Knowles and Andy Bradshaw owners of the Hamptons and ShorePeter Knowles and Andy Bradshaw owners of the Hamptons and Shore (Image: Newsquest)

Penarth Times: Vince Tugwell, manager of Tenovus fears his business could be nextVince Tugwell, manager of Tenovus fears his business could be next (Image: Newsquest)

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In an update at a town council meeting on January 18, Inspector Abi Biddle of South Wales Police said officers patrolling the area were surprised how many places were left unlocked.

She told Penarth Town Council officers were most surprised about walking through back streets and the amount of properties they found unlocked.

While there is no clear plan as yet to tackle the burglars of Penarth, one thing that is certain is they will not be tolerated.

“They are not welcome, said Mr Knowles. “The people of our town will not put up with Penarth being treated in this way.”

Are you a trader in Penarth who has been affected by the crime wave to hit the town? Have you had to change your business practices to tackle the burglars? Are you concerned about what is going on in town? Have you seen thefts in Penarth? Are you a victim of a theft? Email harry.jamshidian@newsquest.co.uk and tell us what you’ve been seeing.

Got a story in Penarth? Email harry.jamshidian@newsquest.co.uk.