Kid restriction reduces thefts

JPCT 240114 S14050088x Horsham News. Ravimdra Amin -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 240114 S14050088x Horsham News. Ravimdra Amin -photo by Steve Cobb

A Horsham shop owner is reaping the benefits of limiting the number of children allowed in his store after years of enduring petty theft at the hands of youths.

Ravindra Amin, 58, of Crawley, said the occasional ransacking at Horsham News in the Bishopric would anger him.

He has owned the newsagents for eight years - during which time he explained large groups of children would make away with items from his store on average ‘two to three times a month’.

In a bid to curb the string of thefts, Mr Amin has limited the number of children allowed in his shop at any one time.

A sign in his shop window reads: “Only two kids at a time. Thank you.”

He told the County Times: “Groups of up to seven kids would come inside and only one would buy something. The rest would just wander around suspiciously.

“They would grab items and put them underneath their clothes and when I tried to stop them they would just run away.

“It made me feel angry because it meant I regularly lost money.”

Since the sign was put up Horsham News has seen a drastic reduction in theft, with only one such incident in the last three months, said Mr Amin.

And on that occasion he managed to apprehend the culprit, letting them go with a stern warning not to steal again.

Mr Amin said: “I caught the child and I told him ‘this is not good for you’. I warned him that if he did it again I would contact his parents and the police.”

But, in general, most children are abiding by the new restriction.

He added: “[The sign] has had a very good effect because kids notice it outside and respect it.

“Things are a lot better now.”