‘Thanks a bunch to our wonderful community’

Redland florist Barry Toogood was moved to tears by the warmth of local support after his shop was broken into.
Thieves smashed his front window in Coldharbour Road on Christmas Eve.

They stole the till and about £1.50 in small change, but caused hundreds of pounds of damage.

Barry says the incident has paled into insignificance compared to the outpouring of kindness from local people.
“I’ve been floored by the local reaction,” he said.
“There was such an overwhelming sense of generosity, a tremendous level of community support.”
“We were reduced to tears by the kindness of so many people.”

On Christmas Day, as he waited for the police to check the window and the shop, people offered blankets, hot drinks and food. Since then they have also offered donations to fix the window.

“I don’t really feel it would be appropriate to accept such offers. Luckily I have a good relationship with Southmead Glass, and they came round quickly to fix things.”

Barry was determined to re-open as soon as he could – and the shop was back in business before New Year.
Westbury Park Community Association has asked people living and working nearby to scour their doorbell camera footage and CCTV to try to trace the thieves.

Kevin Chidgey from WPCA said there had been a positive response and all information was being passed to the police.

He said: “Barry and his wife are well known in the local community and many have visited the shop to express their support and sympathy following the break in and outrage at the perpetrators.

“The thieves had their hoods up on CCTV pictures captured from opposite the shop but may well have taken them down when they got further away and could perhaps now be recognised. “

WPCA say they understand the thieves, who may have been carrying rucksacks, may have gone down Coldharbour Road and then along the lane between St. Albans Road and Devonshire Road or along Devonshire Road and into the lane linking Devonshire Road and St Albans Road.

Kevin said: “If any of you in those streets and places have CCTV, could you please have a look and check. Thanks a lot – Barry and Jayne are really put out by this but are still open, so go and buy some flowers or cards.”

Avon and Somerset police said anyone with information could contact them by calling 101 and quoting reference 5223314154.