Watch the moment thieves smash their way into a shop – and steal a tray of doughnuts

Royal Donuts in Grangetown has been burgled twice in three weeks, barely a month after opening its doors for the first time

A DOUGHNUT shop was burgled for the second time this year amid a string of break-ins in Grangetown on Tuesday morning.

CCTV footage obtained by The Cardiffian shows two young men apparently kicking through the glass door of Royal Donuts on Clare Road at 2.41am on January 24.

It then shows a man entering the shop and finding that the till is empty before climbing back over the counter and escaping with a tray of doughnuts worth £45.

Credit: Steve Ibrahim

On this occasion the till was empty, which was not the case for the first break-in on January 2 when two thieves stole £200 which had been left, by chance, overnight.

They also took a batch of doughnuts that time and the steel tray that they were resting on, leaving the shop’s owner to foot the bill.

Steve Ibrahim, 26, only opened this branch of the German dessert chain – its first store in the UK – on December 17.

“I feel disappointed, I worked really hard to get where I am now opening this shop,” he said.

Clare Road is the location of the UK’s first Royal Donuts.
Credit: The Cardiffian / Instagram @royal.donuts.cardiff

“The licence for the franchise was very expensive and I spent a lot of money on the design and everything else and to know that twice it’s been broken into in the space of less than a month is just very disappointing.

“It’s not nice coming in, thinking ‘are we broken into today?’” he added.

Mr Ibrahim believes it is the same culprits responsible for both break-ins and is not optimistic about the police being able to catch them.  

“They’re two boys,” he said. “First time it happened they took the till. There was £100 in the float and an extra £100 in the till. It was the first time I left that much money in there.

“The police said leave it with us, ‘we’ll look into it’ but I’m not very optimistic. After the first time they sent forensics down and they found a footprint – but you can’t do much with that.

“The second time, we sent them the footage and they said ‘we’re investigating it’ but I’m not confident.”

One of the men crawls through the smashed glass door pane.
Credit: Steve Ibrahim

The damage from this second incident has left Mr Ibrahim out of pocket again and worried for the future.

“We’ve had to get another emergency fix on the window. First time around it cost £240 but the second time was a bit less because we and our neighbour both called and they dropped the price slightly,” he said.

“A couple more break-ins and I could close (permanently). Which means the couple of staff I have could lose their jobs, I lose my job, and the community loses a nice treat shop that they can come to.”

The costs are unlikely to end there either as the shop owner looks to increase security at his premises.  

“I’ll have to get some shutters, maybe. Someone quoted me £1,500 for them which is a lot of money since January’s normally a very quiet time for business, especially with energy bills,” he told us.

He has also questioned his decision to open a shop in Grangetown.

“I somewhat regret opening up here and I’m thinking to myself that had I opened in a different location perhaps this wouldn’t have happened such as the city centre or somewhere in Cathays where you don’t hear much about these crimes,” he said.

Mr Ibrahim is not alone in being targeted. South Wales Police are investigating three other reported burglaries on the same morning.

The locations of the break-ins on Tuesday. The post office and pharmacy share a premises.
Credit: Google Maps

The neighbouring tattoo parlour, post office and pharmacy were also targeted around the same time, suffering similar damage.

Tattoo artists Chris Morris and Lala Taylor, both 35, own Ebony Squid Studio next door to Royal Donuts and discovered that their front door had been smashed in after a customer informed them later in the morning.

Thankfully the thieves were stopped in their tracks by a set of metal shutters, so nothing was taken, but this has not left the pair’s minds entirely at ease.

Ebony Squid Studio owners Chris Morris and Lala Taylor.
Credit: Chris Morris.

“It makes you a feel a bit less safe in the area thinking that people like that are just knocking around and how easy it would be for them to do it again,” said Mr Morris.

“It’s a bit unnerving to know that in a public place they felt confident enough to try multiple shops.

“It’s a desperate time of year for lots of people so it’s quite sad to know that some would resort to doing things like this,” Ms Taylor added.

The couple from Penarth praised the initial response from South Wales Police, although understand the pressures the force faces in the current cost-of-living climate.

The metal shutters (pictured) meant that damage to the front door was the worst of it for Chris and Lala’s studio.
Credit: Chris Morris

“Police came out straight away, sent CSI down here, found some fingerprint and took some glass samples,” Mr Morris said.

“They even asked if our mental health was affected and offered support,” Ms Taylor added.

However, Mr Ibrahim has questioned the police response to the break-ins.

“What baffles me is how there hasn’t been an increased amount of police patrol with the number of break-ins in the past month.

“Normally when you hear of an area being targeted the police react and increase their presence. Because these boys know nothing has happened, they’ll definitely come again,” he added.

“It’s only the main road (Clare Road) so it’s not even that much to ask. It’s ridiculous.”

South Wales Police confirmed there have been no arrests and have since issued a response to The Cardiffian after we raised Mr Ibrahim’s concerns.

Speaking on behalf of the force, press officer Anna Hammond told us: “Being a victim of burglary, whether it’s your home, your business, or where you work is a traumatic experience.

“While we continue with increased patrols in this area, we would ask businesses to review their security systems and make it clear that there is no cash on the premises overnight.

“We would ask people to be vigilant of anyone seen hanging around businesses or retail premises during the early hours of the morning.”

  • Anyone with information on who is involved in these burglaries is asked to contact South Wales Police quoting reference 2300024391