Bridal shop and beauty spa raids ‘not linked’ say police

Bridal shop and beauty spa raids ‘not linked’ say police

TRADERS are counting the cost after a spate of burglaries including raids on a bridal shop, a spa and a hair and beauty salon.

Ten wedding dresses worth about £10,000 were stolen from Haute Couture Bridal on Oxford Road, Gomersal.

All are unique one-offs designed and made by co-owner Kate Chapman and her team.

Five more premises, including the Pure Escape Spa next door, were hit around that time.

And on the same night as the theft from Haute Couture – March 22 – there were reports of an attempted burglary at the Tutti Frutti hair salon in Birkenshaw.

Three shops in Birkenshaw and premises in Drighlington were also burgled, leading to claims  – denied by police – that they may be linked.

At Houte Couture, burglars crawled in after smashing the front door’s lower glass panel.

In squeezing back out they could have damaged some of the dresses, 10 petticoats and five veils stolen.

Wooden hangers, price tags and a couple of veils were left behind in a trail down Oxford Road.

The culprits took nine dresses from a rail of more expensive items towards the back of the shop, plus the display dress.

Other less costly stock was left untouched, suggesting the burglars knew what they were looking for.

Devastated Kate said: “We’ve been here nearly three years and were just getting comfortable and hitting our stride.

“Everything is made by us and that’s why we’ve got a bit of an empty-looking shop at the moment.

“It’s not like I can ring suppliers to re-order them. And given we’re in wedding season, our seamstresses are working around the clock to make new dresses.”

She said police told her they had been busy with what she described as a “mini crimewave”.

Kate, 36, a Leeds College of Art fashion design graduate, runs the shop with sister Dawn Flanagan.

They employ two pattern cutters and two seamstresses at separate premises in Morley.

At the Pure Escape Spa, a cash box containing £15 to £20 was stolen after reception was ransacked overnight on March 31.

Burglars rifled filing cabinets, desk drawers and shelving, leaving a mess of scattered paperwork behind. The cost includes £350 for a steel door which owner Adelle Carr has installed in a bid to deter thieves.

She said: “It’s heart-wrenching because the business is my pride and joy and someone’s tried to spoil it all.

“But you can’t let them stop you. You’ve got to keep going. We’ve a pride in what we do here – and all we want to do is earn a sensible living.”

A police spokeswoman said no arrests had been made for the Haute Couture or Pure Escape Spa burglaries.

She added: “Having looked at the crime reports into these two offences there is nothing to suggest that they are being treated as a series.”

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