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A SHOPKEEPER has been forced to kit out his store with razor wire in a bid to discourage intruders after being burgled six times in just three years.
Fed-up Parvez Akhtar has resorted to the unorthodox security measures at his Fix a Phone store in Middlesbrough after thugs continued to target the small business.
The 50-year-old has had to wrap the inside and outside of his store in sharp razor wire to help deter thieves that have cost him tens of thousands of pounds.
“Every seven to eight months within three years I have reported
break-ins,” Mr Akhtar explained.
“The first time they cut the roof and came inside to take some of my
The looters stole around 25 phones – amassing to a loss of around £15,000 – in the first break in, which were never recovered.
Mr Akhtar stepped up security measures after the burglary and had to splash out £1,800 on a more secure door, as well as forking out £35 a month for a police alarm.
He then decided to deck his store out in razor wire for an added layer of protection, putting it in front of the counter, underneath the ceiling, and on top of the roof.
He even installed a CCTV system to keep a watchful eye on his shop that he can view from his television at home.
“The second time they cut the roof again. But on this occasion they just
left because I had put razor wire down behind the counter under the roof so they couldn’t get in.
“They damaged my shop and after that when they knew I put the wire down they broke the main shutter and the window,” he said. “But I had razor wire there as well, and they couldn’t get in.
“Three times I’ve been broken in through the roof and three times through
the main shutter and window.”
Mr Akhtar noow faces the gruelling task of setting up the razor wire each night and removing it each morning – adding around half an hour on to his day on either side.
“I ALWAYS WORRY, I CANNOT SLEEP”
“I damage my hand nearly every day by cutting it on the wire when I’m
sorting it out,” he complained.
“Every night I take the phones out of the shop and bring them back the next day just in case, but it shouldn’t be like that.”
The frustrated businessman recently challenged Policing Minister Kit Malthouse about the rise in violent crimes across Teesside as he walked through the town with local Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner.
But despite raising his concerns, he remains pessimistic about any improvements, saying: “Mr Malthouse promised to do something but I don’t believe it.
“Out of the six times it has happened I’ve reported five of them to the
police, but the last time I didn’t bother.
“On one occasion I think they got someone who was arrested and fined but I
didn’t see any money come from anywhere.
“My belief is that the police should do more patrolling on foot, especially
on this road because I think the majority of shops here have been broken into.
“They’re just after till money, they know the phones aren’t inside now and
they know there’s razor wire.”
As well as taking a hit financially, Mr Akhtar has spoke of the toll it has taken on his mental health.
“I cannot sleep because when someone rings me in the evening my mind
straight away thinks about the shop,” he explained.
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MY GIRL’S HELL
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“I’m mentally disturbed and I don’t know what to do sometimes. I don’t
think anyone does security like me with the razor wire inside the shop.
“I always worry because it’s only a small shop, it’s not worth a couple of
million pounds or anything like that.
“I hope things will improve going forward but it is a constant worry.”