BAR owners who lost "a large quantity of cash" after a burglar smashed his way through its windows, have thanked the community for their support following the raid.

What is thought to be single thief broke into The Keep, a bar and spirit shop in Wallingford by smashing through the shopfront.

Owners Robert McGregor and business partner Sam Smith, have not disclosed the sum stolen but police said it was a substantial amount. They have vowed to stay positive and "move on" – even making light of last Thursday's incident.

They invited customers to join them for a fun weekend with songs by The Police and a cops and robbers-themed fancy dress competition.

Mr McGregor said: “It was a really annoying thing that happened but we'll try to make light of it, as we always do, and move on.

“A man broke into the shop after he ripped out a window. He took the cash we had on site... which was enough to hurt. But he didn’t take any stock.

Police are linking the break in with an assault and failed robbery at the Esso garage on Station Road in the town.

He said the bar had been busy over the weekend, with people keen to back the business.

Mr McGregor said: “The community in Wallingford is amazing. Everybody came out to support us in person and on social media, which is amazing.”

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“A few people came in fancy dress. We had lots of songs by The Police and played Police and Thieves. We also put a sign up saying ‘The Keep, getting smashed since 2016’, which was when we opened.”

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses to the break-in.

A spokesperson said: “A large quantity of cash, an electronic tablet and keys were stolen sometime between approximately 1.40am and 2.05am – the keys have since been recovered."

Police confirmed the link between the burglary and an incident at the Esso petrol station on Station Road. 

Herald Series: The Keep's front windows were smashed in by an individual who proceeded to rob the premisses

A spokesperson said: “A man asked a member of staff for the pass code to the safe and when he was told he did not have it, the offender grabbed the victim and punched him in the face and head.

“The offender then asked for the money from the till but was told there was not any and left.

“The offender is described as a white man, 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build and aged in his early 20s. He was dressed in a black hoodie with the hood up, black joggers and a grey face mask."

Officers are investigating both incidents. They ask for anyone with information to call 101 or make a report on their website, quoting reference number 43220073066 for The Keep burglary, and 43220073094 for the Esso assault.

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