Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friends Rally Round to Help after Restaurant Is Ransacked

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friends Rally Round to Help after Restaurant Is Ransacked

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk @Sophie_Doughty

RAIDERS ransacked a restaurant and stole thousands of pounds worth of drink.

Staff at Elder and Wolf in Whitley Bay have been working around the clock to clear the mess left by the thieves who were caught on camera going in and out the restaurant the night before Christmas Eve carrying bottles of expensive drink.

Police are still hunting the men who left a trail of destruction.

But meanwhile loyal customers and fans of the venue have been rallying round to help its owners reopen in time for New Year, and to identify those responsible.

Owner Geoff Waterston said: "We just really want them caught now."

"The community has really rallied round. We have had customers offering to help. It's been overwhelming." The thieves struck overnight between Saturday and Sunday as Elder and Wolf closed following its last night of serving before Christmas.

CCTV shows two men entering the building, on Whitley Road, four times over a period of several hours and carrying bottles of Champagne, gin and tequila out.

The raiders first entered the upstairs late on Saturday night, while staff and customers were still in the restaurant downstairs. But they continued to plunder the drink stocks until around 4am on the following morning.

When the owners arrived to check on their premises the next day, Christmas Eve, they found the restaurant had been trashed.

"Saturday night was our last night before closing before Christmas and the staff were all excited," Geoff explained. "When we left the building there was nothing untoward whatsoever, but when we re-entered at 10am the next morning the place have been ransacked. There was glass everywhere.

"We called the police and went through the CCTV and saw they had been in while we were still in the building. …

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