STAFF at a popular independent book store in Christchurch have spoken of their frustration following a spate of thefts.

Bookends in the High Street was targeted by a man on June 13 and 20.

He returned again on June 26 but was chased out of the shop empty-handed.

On the first occasion, he took around £120 of Yankee Candle items, however, he took a further three items seven days later.

A staff member told the Daily Echo that the incidents first started in April.

She said: “I think he came in three times in one week but we only realised what was happening the final time he came in.

“So that was when we first clocked him and realised that we had candles going missing.”

The large Yankee Candles retail at £23.99 each.

The staff member said: “He came in very quickly and as he was leaving my colleague spotted him and said ‘wait, I think it might have been that guy from a couple of months ago’ and then it was too late, he’d gone.

“Then we looked back at the video footage and they saw that it was him and he’d taken some more candles again and then he came in again on June 20.

“Without a bag this time and kind of walked round the shop very quickly and went into the candle department and put three in his jacket and then left and then that one wasn’t picked up until we noticed a gap on the candles.

“We don’t sell normally three a day and then we went back on the camera and saw it was him again.”

Now staff are appealing for further information in connection with the incidents, which have been reported to the police. The shop has also given CCTV footage to the force, although this has not been officially released.

“It’s had quite a big impact, to lose £120 worth of stock within a couple of minutes is really devastating for an independent businesses. Obviously we’re at the beginning part of the year, which is the slower half so for us, so to be able to sell the Yankee Candles – it’s really good that we’ve got that brand – to have really high ticket items stolen, high ticket to us anyway, is really really annoying.”