It was an unhappy start to the new year for a florist whose Congleton town centre premises was burgled.
But Flower Gallery owner David Phillips was looking on the bright side this week, saying he was relieved that the intruders had only got away with some change.
The break-in happened sometime between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning at the Little Street shop.
Mr Phillips told the “Chronicle”: “They broke down the front door and took the till tray.
“The door was wide open first thing on Tuesday. My phone rang and the caller said ‘I think you’ve been broken into’. A kind lady waited there for us to arrive to make sure nobody went in. This was around 8am.”
It appeared the burglars didn’t get away with much. “There was not a lot of money in the till, a bit of change, that’s all,” added Mr Phillips. He said that 99% of customers now paid by card.
He said: “Thank God they didn’t make a mess. They went straight for the till, took out the tray containing whatever change there was and must have left straight away.”
Remaining positive, Mr Phillips continued: “I was more concerned about there being a mess, had the place been ransacked, so I was quite chuffed.
“There was a bottle of vodka and a couple of bottles of gin in there but they didn’t take that.”
He had left the Flower Gallery at around 1pm on Monday. “Nobody was in then until we got the call on Tuesday morning,” he explained.
He said the burglary followed a “very good” festive season for the shop.
He said of the burglars: “They had gone to some effort to break in through the door. It had three mortice locks so they must have been trying to get in for some time.
“But there was nothing for them in here to steal, only decorative things and they were hardly going to run down the street carrying that.”
He said the break-in had been reported to police and it would be back to business as usual once the door was repaired.
A Cheshire Police spokesperson confirmed officers were investigating and urged anyone with information to call 101 or visit cheshire.police.uk/tell-us/ quoting IML 1726277. Alternatively information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.