Residents rally round as bakery hit by thieves

Louise McKinlay in the bakery. Picture: Jon Savage

Louise McKinlay in the bakery. Picture: Jon Savage

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RESIDENTS are rallying round a community bakery after it was targeted by thieves just weeks after it opened.

Burglars smashed the window of Breadshare on Seafield Road yesterday morning, showering the shop floor with broken glass and forcing staff to throw out produce for fear of contamination.

The thieves also ripped out the float from the till which contained about £70 in cash – though they failed to spot laptops and iPads.

Shortly afterwards the shop window of the Istanbul takeaway on Portobello High Street was also damaged. Staff were unable to confirm if money had been taken in the second smash and grab.

It is understood that police are treating the two incidents as linked, and have issued an appeal for information from anyone who saw a young man in a red hooded top leaving the area in a red Audi.

Debra Riddell, shop manager at Breadshare, said staff and volunteers would have to work into the early hours of this morning to catch up with their work.

She said: “The worst thing is that they broke the window to the bakery. There was glass everywhere, and that has delayed our baking time.

“We have had to throw out a lot of stock because of the risk of contamination.”

Breadshare is run for the community by about 12 part-time staff and with help from up to 20 volunteers.

The community pulled together after the incident, with staff from arts organisation Out of the Blue offering to board up the window until glaziers arrived.

Members of the Porty People community web page also welcomed suggestions from Melissa Byrne that a fund be set up to help pay for the damage.

She said: “The community have raised funds to replace windows when other businesses have been vandalised which was great – how about we do the same for Breadshare, a non-profit [organisation]?”

A police spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating following two housebreakings at business premises in the Portobello area.

“The incidents occurred at around 6.30am yesterday. The first break-in occurred in Seafield Road East where a young man was seen wearing a red hooded top, leaving the area in a red coloured Audi Motor car.

“The second incident was discovered a short time later in Portobello High Street.

“Police are appealing for any members of the public who observed any suspicious activity in and around both areas, or remember seeing a red coloured Audi saloon, to contact Police Scotland on 101.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com