Burgled indie forced to close a day after reopening

Burgled indie forced to close a day after reopening

An indie bookshop in Brigg, north Lincolnshire, was forced to close on Tuesday (13th April) after only a day's post-lockdown trading, following a break-in that left the shop unsafe for customers.

Two display cases were stolen through a smashed window of The Rabbit Hole, which left glass all over the property and co-owner Nick and Mel Webb "pretty shaken" by the discovery.

"We've only managed to be open for a day, but we will get it back. It's one of those illogical things," Nick Webb told The Bookseller.

The crime was reported by a member of the public on Monday night, but no one contacted the Webbs, who turned up to find a boarded-up window and glass everywhere. 

"Luckily they [those responsible] hadn't got beyond the front of the shop," Nick Webb said. "They took two bookcases — it took a fair force to get the window in — it's 8mm thick reinforced glass. They tried with a huge block of concrete which didn't work, then managed to push the window in and took the bookcases. We have no explanation as to why."

Nothing else was taken from the shop.

The police were at the premises yesterday, dusting for fingerprints. Webb was forced to turn away customers as the shop is not secure.

Webb is not sure how long the premises will have to remain closed, but has said it will affect trading, particularly as the shop was very busy on reopening day. "It was such a wonderful day — it was unbelievable. We've been set back now — but we will deal with it. It's just insane what they've done," he said. 

Emma Rowson, a freelance copywriter and regular of the indie bookshop, has set up a crowdfunding page to help towards covering the loss of stock, damage and shortfall in earnings. On Twitter, she posted: "I’m beyond angry. My wonderful local indie bookshop has been forced to close after only reopening yesterday following a burglary last night. Nick and Mel are absolutely devastated. Can our bookish community show them some love and support right now?"

Meryl Halls, m.d. at the Booksellers Association, has been in touch with the couple. 

"The response from local people and the lovely people and community on Twitter and Facebook has been overwhelming," Webb said. "We really appreciate every single person whose contacted us. We'll fight back."