'One more burglary could close me down' says Wakefield boutique owner

Lucy McAusland fears another burglary could break her.
Lucy McAusland fears another burglary could break her.

A boutique owner in Wakefield says she could be forced to close if she suffers another break in, having been burgled four times in the space of five months.

Lucy McAusland realised a life-long dream by opening Lou’la Belles on Westgate in July of last year with her business partner.

Lucy said it was her dream to have her own boutique.

Lucy said it was her dream to have her own boutique.

But the 29-year-old has endured heartbreak since taking sole responsibility for the fashion shop and has been left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

In two of the break-ins, the thieves cleared the store of all the clothing.

Ms McAusland, who is from Rothwell, said: “I’m fed up and really upset, if it happens again I might not be able to carry on with the shop.

“Four times in five months is awful. Altogether, they have probably taken about £4,000 worth of clothing.

“I’ve found out another business near here has been broken into three times so it’s not just me. It’s really putting people off around here.

“It’s really heartbreaking to come to the shop and see it broken into again.

“It was a dream to open this shop, I’ve always wanted my own boutique, but I’ve got no idea what I’d do if I had to close.”

Making matters worse, Ms McAusland was only able to claim on the insurance for one of the break-ins meaning she has largely been forced to foot the bill herself.

She has now beefed up security by adding additional locks and forking out for expensive CCTV in the shop.

She is now just hoping that there are no further break-ins.

Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Benn Kemp of Wakefield CID, confirmed that for one of the break-ins a male was sentenced to 20 weeks behind bars, while they are continuing to investigate an attempted break-in in April and two burglaries in June and August.

He said: “We have investigated every offence and provided crime prevention advice to the owner.

“We have also increased patrols in the area to offer a reassuring presence and would welcome any additional information about the offences.”

Anyone with any information regarding the break-ins is being asked to call police on 101 quoting log 438 of August 30.