Man arrested in connection with hospitality break-ins across city

Police have arrested a man in his 40s after a spate of break-ins in Norwich. Inset Ber Street Kitchen owner Wayne Chapman.

Police have arrested a man in his 40s after a spate of break-ins in Norwich, Norfolk, it was welcomed Ber Street Kitchen owner Wayne Chapman. - Credit: David Cross/Ben Hardy

A man has been arrested in connection with a flurry of break-ins which left hospitality bosses forking out thousands of pounds in damages. 

At least eight venues have been burgled in Norwich recently including Patisserie Valerie, Brick Pizza and The Ber Street Kitchen since the turn of the year.

One man aged in his 40s has now been arrested in connection with a number incidents.

However Norfolk Police could not confirm which of the break-ins he had been arrested in connection with. 

He has since been released on police bail.

Forensic services in Norwich Market Place on Sunday afternoon 

Forensic services in Norwich Market Place following a break-in at Brick Pizza - Credit: David Cross

A police spokeswoman said: "Norfolk Police are aware of a number of break-ins in Norwich and enquiries are ongoing." 

The Ber Street Kitchen was targeted on four separate occasions in January with a suspect taking a quantity of cash, a speaker and food. 

Owner Wayne Chapman said: "We now have extra precautions and I think we are ready for anyone intending to burgle us again. 

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"I think the police have done a good job and communicated well with us. They popped in and told us they had arrested someone." 

Wayne Chapman, owner of The Ber Street Kitchen 

Wayne Chapman, owner of The Ber Street Kitchen - Credit: Ben Hardy

After the break-ins, a social media post by the café said: "It seems many other hospitality businesses have been faced with similar circumstances - most of them independents, like us, that simply can't afford to keep replacing stolen stock, cash and even the security cameras." 

The Ber Street break-in followed The Red Lion pub in Bishopgate, Bengal Spice in St Benedicts Street, as well as Figbar and Salt all being targeted over the Christmas period. 

There was also an attempted break-in at the next-door Esquire Hair Studio at the same time as The Ber Street Kitchen which proved unsuccessful. 

The total cost of the burglary was estimated as being £3,000 in addition to the thousands spent on deterrents.

A back window at the café is currently boarded up but there are plans to install metal bars for security.  

Mr Chapman said: "Our staff are now feeling a lot better now there are security measures in place." 

There were break-ins earlier in the year at the Field's News store in London Street and the XO Kitchen in St Georges Street during November - however it is unclear if the later incidents are related.