Thieves towed off our roadside café

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Roadside caterers in Denby were put out of business by thieves who towed away their cafe.

The unit has the words “Blue Box Cafe” painted on both sides with a menu on the back for jacket potatoes, burgers, salads and breakfast cobs.

It had been operated for five years on Park Hall Road, Denby by friends Jessica Hayhurst and Wendy Parkin. The unit had been stored securely behind locked gates nearby.

Jessica said on Monday:”We are both very upset and angry. It is quite a strange feeling to know someone has wiped out your business.

“We have made a lot of friends in those five years and it is horrible.

“One of the worst things is that there was a mobile phone inside the cafe, which regulars use to phone in with orders. We can’t contact them to say what has happened.”

Police believe the offenders came prepared because the cafe was behind fencing just up the road from the spot where it was based five days a week.

It was stolen between 3pm on August 13 and 7am the next morning.

It is painted in mid-blue and is about 10ft long. As well as being behind a locked gate, it was fitted with a hitch lock, wheel clamp and was chained to a post.

It had been sprayed with Smartwater which could help to identify the offenders, who could have towed it away by using a small car.

The cafe contains propane gas bottles, a cooker, griddle, a hot water boiler and three sinks, as well as cool boxes, a fridge and hot holding tubs. There were also pots, pans, mugs and plates.

A hoard of food was inside included chocolates and bottles of pop.

The pair believe the unit is worth £11,500 and hope to relaunch the business when insurers pay out. A mobile toilet was stolen a week earlier down the road, at a spot where council workmen were carrying out repairs.

Jessica added:”If it’s the same people, they have a nice little set-up with a cafe and toilets.

“We are surprised nobody heard it being moved because things bang together and it is quite a noisy van to tow.”

Anybody who has seen the cafe since Tuesday is asked to contact Amber Valley patrol officer PC Miriam Roche on the Derbyshire police non-emergency number of 101.

Free calls can be made to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.