A popular Cardiff pizza parlour has become the victim of a repeat burglar who only breaks in to steal hot chocolate.
The cocoa-obsessed criminal has smashed his way into the premises of Dusty’s Pizza on Papermill Road in the city’s Canton area several times in the last month or so, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
But, despite being caught on CCTV and prompt responses by police, the man, who also helps himself to a selection of tea lights and napkins, has so far managed to evade capture.
And now the owners of the acclaimed pizzeria have released security footage of the robber in the hope that someone recognises him.
“This is the third time in about six and a half weeks, it’s incredibly frustrating ” said Phill Lewis, who launched the business – originally named Dusty Knuckle – from the back of a van with his wife Deb in 2014.
“Each time it’s the same guy and each time he takes the same thing – namely one of our kilo tubs of cocoa.
“He must have one hell of a sweet tooth because he’s walked off with three already.”
Based at the Boneyard – an old scaffolders’ yard which was repurposed in late 2015 for small businesses wanting to set up shop in reconditioned shipping containers – Dusty’s isn’t the only one that’s been hit either.
“Other places on the industrial estate have also been done over in recent months and the construction site next door got broken into a couple of weeks ago,” said Phill, adding that the restaurant is card-payment only, so no cash is ever kept on the premises.
“By and large, the shipping containers are hard to get into, but we’ve got French doors, and it’s those which have been our weak spot.
“The first time the glass was smashed, so we boarded it up.
“But now he just uses a crowbar to force the doors open, each time only taking about £20-£30’s worth of stuff.
“Meanwhile, it’s getting more and more expensive to do the repairs – so much so we’ve been wondering if it would be more cost effective to just leave the items outside for him.
“As though it were a care package or something,” he added.
“Honestly, it’s weird and sad, but that’s the reality of the situation.”
A spokesperson for South Wale Police said, “On Saturday, December 12 at approximately 6.20am South Wales Police received a report of a burglary at Dusty’s Pizza in Papermill Road.
“The front doors had been forced open and items worth around £20 had been stolen.
“Enquiries are on-going.”