Toy shop to shut after repeated burglaries

SET TO CLOSE: Allison Ilsley, owner of Osborn and Willliam, in High Street, Hadleigh.
SET TO CLOSE: Allison Ilsley, owner of Osborn and Willliam, in High Street, Hadleigh.

A toy shop is set to close after repeated break-ins left the business “unsustainable” and staff too demoralised to continue.

Osborn and William in Hadleigh has been broken into on three occasions since it opened in the High Street last March.

Owner Allison Ilsley said staff were tired of working hard all day only to be faced with the consequences of a burglary the next morning.

“It is not sustainable for us to carry on and we are sick of having to sweep up broken glass,” said the 40-year-old.

“It has got too depressing and upsetting. A toy shop is supposed to be a happy place, but it has not been that way with three break-ins in seven months.”

During the latest burglary in January, soft toys, children’s books and scales for measuring sweets were stolen after the shop’s front window was smashed.

Kane Burton, 20, and a 17-year-old accomplice were caught for the break-in after police followed their footsteps in the snow to where they were hiding.

Burton was jailed for 16 weeks while the youth, from Hadleigh, was ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work.

Mrs Ilsley, who employs five people at the store and launched her business in Dedham three years ago, said the shop’s location may have played a part in its troubles.

“We are right on the corner next to a cut-through to the car park and CCTV doesn’t pick up what appears to be happening fairly regularly,” she said.

The shop is expected to close in the summer and Mrs Ilsley said she would then concentrate on her Dedham store and online sales.

“It is a shame because the people of Hadleigh have been great, but our minds are made up,” she said.