A SCARED shopkeeper is pleading for police help after being broken into for the ninth time in seven years.
Thieves smashed their way into Kashif Ather’s Day-Today Store in Granton before escaping with an ATM machine in the latest attack.
Mr Ather has now written to Scotland’s top police officer asking for help as he fears he is being repeatedly targeted by the same local criminals.
The married father-of-one said: “I’m very worried about my life. I want to know why they are doing this to me.”
“It’s very tough times at the moment for my business,” added the 48-year-old.
Four masked men broke into the Boswall Parkway store at 3am on July 29 before driving off in a silver hatchback with the cash machine.
“I don’t know how much money was in the machine because it’s operated by another company, but it must’ve been a lot of money,” said Mr Ather.
“They used metal bars to get through the shutters then smashed the window and climbed through before cutting out the machine.
“It’s all on CCTV which the police have and they looked professional.”
The Evening News reported how Mr Ather’s shop and home were targeted by thieves in a two-day period back in 2015.
His ground-floor flat in Wardieburn Place East was ransacked, with clothes, shoes and £2,500 of cash and jewellery snatched in a safe.
They struck again as Mr Ather closed up his shop, stealing his Range Rover Sport, where he had just placed about £6500 of takings.
Granton community councillor Mr Ather’s home was also targeted by thieves in December 2013, while his car was vandalised the following year.
“I believe that somebody is targeting us - why?” he asked. “Business is very tough, I am suffering. I came here in 2007, but now it is very difficult. The business is quiet, and this is troubling me.”
Police confirmed detectives were investigating the latest attack on Day-Today Store by four men wearing balaclavas.
After smashing their way in, they fled in a grey or silver medium-sized hatchback along Boswell Parkway towards Crewe Road North.
DCI Paul Grainger said: “The audible alarm was activated and their actions would’ve caused some noise at this time of the morning.
“We are looking to speak to anyone who heard anything or saw the incident or anything suspicious, or the car driving off.
“We believe that a black people-carrier type private taxi may have driven by as this incident happened. I would urge the driver or passengers to get in touch with us.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting incident reference number 0689 of 29 July or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.