Repeated break-ins force Pontefract store owner out of business

Ian Issit is closing his greenhouse business in Pontefract due to  repeated vandalism. Picture Scott Merrylees
Ian Issit is closing his greenhouse business in Pontefract due to repeated vandalism. Picture Scott Merrylees

A greenhouse centre in Pontefract has closed down after it was targeted by vandals ‘almost every single week’ for a year.

Ian Isitt, from Elloughton Greenhouses on Anderson Street, decided to call time on the Pontefract branch of his company after repeated break-ins.

When he went to his store the weekend before Christmas and found it had been ransacked again he decided enough was enough.

He said: “We have lost count of the number of times people have broken in and trashed the place and the Sunday before Christmas was the last straw.

“We have been targeted constantly – something has happened on almost a weekly basis – since we moved in a year ago and you just can’t run a business like that.”

He said at first vandals did not try to break in to locked areas of the site and were mostly “having parties” inside the grounds.

The damage caused around that time was mostly windows being smashed, but Mr Isitt said in Spring last year thieves started to break in to other parts of the site and “the floodgates seemed to open”.

As of that point the raids became more serious.

He said most valuables were stored away in a safe but thieves did take a television set used in the store as well as a CCTV system intended to deter criminals.

He estimates the cost of the repeated raids and subsequent clean-ups to be “in the thousands”.

As a result of the vandalism Mr Isitt decided to close the store. The firm will now be based out of its other premises in Hull.

In a statement on the firm’s website, Mr Isitt said: “I would like to personally apologise if this causes any inconvenience to anyone in the Pontefract area but sadly on this occasion the thieves and vandals have worn me down to the point that it is no longer viable to offer our services from this site.”