£50k antiques burglary stirs up ghost of armed raid

Bucks Free Press: £50k antiques burglary stirs up ghost of armed raid £50k antiques burglary stirs up ghost of armed raid

A ‘DEVASTATING’ raid on a Marlow antiques store saw thieves snatch up to £50,000 of antiques and jewellery, bringing back terrifying memories for staff of an armed hold up six years before.

Bob Wallace, co-owner of Buckingham Antiques on Marlow High Street, said thieves made off with goods estimated to be worth 40 to £50,000 in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The raid recalls traumatic memories of an armed robbery in 2008, when co-owner Hilary Buckingham was held at gunpoint when violent thugs stole over £100,000 of goods.

But Mr Wallace said despite the recent crime leaving his colleague in shock, he was relieved the break-in came at night when no staff were on the premises.

He said afterwards: "At the end of the day, nothing will keep them out if they want to get in. They took the stuff in the window, we’re not sure how much it’s worth yet but Hilary reckons it could be 40 or 50 thousand.

"Hilary is very shaken up, but she is tremendous, she’s been held up more than once here and in other shops. It’s sickening, and it shouldn’t happen.

"When I first had the call, I said the important thing is no one was hurt. Crudely speaking, they did a good job of breaking in, and at least they didn’t back a car into the shop.

"We are going to open up again as soon as the glass is replaced. I can’t open up until then because I can’t show anyone anything."

Police confirmed they were called to a break-in at Buckingham Antiques on Marlow High Street at 4.07am on Sunday.

The culprits smashed a window and took items of jewellery in the raid and police put a cordon around the building while an investigation was carried out.

As well as the financial value of the goods, Mr Wallace said they have lost at least four days worth of trade. The shop is now re-open.

In 2009, Polish nationals Adam Romulewicz and Damian Kaczynski from Harrow were jailed for eight years for the gun point raid at the High Street shop.

Speaking to the Free Press at the time, Ms Buckingham called the drug addicts ‘scum’ after the ordeal caused her to suffer post traumatic stress.

But Mr Wallace, who was enraged by the attack six years ago, said he accepts his line of work has inherent risks and is unsure of whether the pair will continue trading.

He said: It's a dangerous business, I understand that. Last time I went along to see them sentenced and if I had a gun I would have used it.

"But while both of us are angry about it, we're equally relieved that minimal damage was done and that no one was hurt. At least there were no guns involved.

"Hilary is devastated by it. We may carry on, we may not. It has happened now and we can’t change it. I am just pleased that no one was hurt."

Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the burglary, or anyone with any information, to contact Thames Valley Police on 101.

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