Gems coffee shop is targeted by ‘idiots’

Damage to the window at Gems.
Damage to the window at Gems.
  • Vandals smash window
  • Call made for CCTV to cover street
  • Damage could cost up to £1,500
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Vandals who attacked a Lurgan business have been branded as ‘idiots’ by a local councillor.

Local cafe, Gems in Union Street was attacked, again, by vandals who attempted to smash their front windows.

‘I saw it and just went flat, it’s really my wife Vivienne’s wee pride and joy’

Alfie Greenaway

The attack took place some time during the night between Wednesday and Thursday, November 4-5.

The damage was discovered as Alfie Greenaway went to open up: “I saw it and just went flat, it’s really my wife Vivienne’s wee pride and joy. We’ve worked hard at it and you can’t let things like that get to you.

Alfie is now calling for a nearby CCTV camera to be pointed along Union Street to help deter thieves and vandals from targeting business along the street. He’s also approached DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart about having a streetlight across the road repaired, “At the moment there’s just a dark spot there.”

The business has been open five years and was targeted in a burglary in July last year - after which Alfie installed new locks.

Of the latest damage Alfie said it could cost as much as £1,500 to repair: “The glass will be over £1,000 to replace and then there’s the lettering to put back on.”

He said police had suggested someone may have fell against the grill on the window but Alfie said: “It’s toughened glass I think someone used some sort of pole,”

Lurgan Councillor Colin McCusker said: “This small business has been open for a few years now, and is still working very hard to establish itself in Lurgan town centre.

“The owners have invested their own money in setting up this venture and should not have to deal with the added expense of replacing damaged windows, carried out by idiots who don’t care about their town of economy.

“In the same week that Northern Ireland has heard so much about job losses, to think that someone thinks its a good idea, or fun, to attack a small business is beyond me.

“I have contacted the local police to see if there is any CCTV footage of the incident, in order that it can be shared in the same way that Carrick Primary School used footage of their recent burglary.

“Hopefully the culprits are brought to book and dealt with severely.”

A PSNI spokesperson said they are appealing for information after an incident of criminal damage: “Sometime overnight between Wednesday, November 4 and Thursday, November 5, damage was caused to the front window of a coffee shop on Union 
Street.

“Police are appealing to anyone who has information in relation to this incident to contact them on 101, quoting ref: 163 05/11/15,”