THIEVES SMASHED their way into a bar and stole thousands of pounds worth of alcohol as well as cash for disadvantaged children at Christmas.

The burglars snuck through the back window of the All Hail Ale toilets in the early hours of Saturday morning.

They then smashed down the back bar door before snatching bottles of spirits and trying to crack open the till. 

The thieves also around £200 from a bucket meant for the Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal, donated by the customers of the bar.

The next day police were called and CSI investigators began an investigation into the burglary.

Peter Hector, 65 owns the independent pub on Queens Road, Westbourne.

Bournemouth Echo:

When Peter went to decorate the bar with Christmas ornaments in the morning, he noticed a wheely bin had been placed in the middle of the car park to allow the culprits to gain entry.

Recalling the moments after the break-in, he said: “I was coming into work to put the Christmas decorations up for the pub when I saw the back door had been smashed through.

“They smashed the CCTV camera, and the hard drive was fried, so there was no recording."

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Speaking on the impact of the business, Peter added: “It has been hard over the last three years, especially with the pandemic, so we are all on a knife edge as regards finances and moving forward.

“They stole spirits, boxes of cider, and my Kindle and smashed my till which is all replaceable.

“What's not replaceable is approximately 150 to 200 pounds in cash they stole that was meant for cash for kids' Christmas appeal.

“It's not the material things, it's the money that really hurts.

“It's a bloody inconvenience.

“The children's money is all donated by my customers, so you've not just stolen from me, you've stolen from them and the kids.”

Bournemouth Echo:

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All Hail Ale was also broken into in its first year of trading in 2017, fortunately, the culprit who took multiple bottles of local wine, was caught using the help of CCTV, according to Peter.

He added: “I did inquire with neighbours, but didn't hear a thing, which I find astonishing, considering the damage to the window.

“It must have made quite a bit of noise, I would have thought with getting through the door because it's a deadlock and they've had to chisel, basically rip the timber frame apart to get it out.

“I would say there's between 1,500-2,000 pounds of theft and damage and I’m yet to get the bill for the till.”

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: “We received a report at 9.57am on Saturday 2 December 2023 of a burglary at All Hail Ale in Queens Road in Bournemouth.

“An examination of the scene was carried out.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and no arrests have been made.”