A HALSTEAD shop has been hit by a masked crook in a raid just two weeks after a separate break-in saw them lose thousands of pounds of stock. 

Retroformers, located at The Centre, off Halstead High Street, told the Gazette more goods were taken this morning at 1.27am after reviewing CCTV footage.

The shop’s co-founder Jonathan Farenden discovered the scene as he decided to make an impromptu visit to the store to pick up a change pot as the business was due to appear at Romford Market this weekend.

When he got to the store at 6am, he found Lego on the floor and realised more collectable Pokémon cards, DVDs, and Warhammer, had been stolen alongside Lego products and a xbox-360.

The total worth of the stolen goods are valued between £3,000 to £4,000.

Halstead Gazette: Disappointed - Retroformers Co-founder Jonathan FarendenDisappointed - Retroformers Co-founder Jonathan Farenden (Image: Retroformers)

He said the temporary repair door panel, put in place after the first break in, had been forced off.

Essex Police officers were on the scene shortly before 7am.

Jonathan said: “I got that pit feeling in my stomach and thought why again? They’ve done this once and caused damage.

“They are targeting a small business which can’t afford to keep affording to pay for alarm repairs, pay for door repairs, and replacing stock.

Halstead Gazette: Thief - CCTV footage of a crook from the most recent robberyThief - CCTV footage of a crook from the most recent robbery (Image: Retroformers)


“We don’t have an endless pit of money to fund something like this.

“It’s the gall of them, they very casually stroll around in the CCTV footage, they take one lot of stuff, put it into their car and come back for more.

“I feel numb, we just started getting back on track, I felt positive we could claw back and carry on as normal after the first time.”

Halstead Gazette: Damaged - a recent image of the broken door panel at Retroformers following this new incidentDamaged - a recent image of the broken door panel at Retroformers following this new incident (Image: Retroformers)

Halstead Gazette: Shop - RetroformersShop - Retroformers (Image: Retroformers)

The shop was due to have an alarm fitted on Friday but due to the alarm fitter being ill it was rescheduled to a later date.

The latest incident comes after a crook smashed the shop’s bottom front door panel at 2.30am on March 19 and stole up to £18,000 worth of products from the shop.

According to Jonathan, a new alarm will be fitted, and the door will be repaired.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We’re investigating a break-in which took place at a business premises in The Centre, Halstead, which took place shortly before 1.30am on Saturday March 30.

"At this stage, no arrests have been made and our enquiries are ongoing.

"We are aware this premises is a repeat victim.

"Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information on it should get in touch."

If you have any information on this second incident, please dial 101 and cite the crime reference 42/50757/24.