'It’s a bit scary really' - Hartlepool salon owner's anguish after second break-in in five months

The owner of an established hair salon has spoken of her anguish after her business was targeted by burglars for the second time in five months.

Shapers for Devine Hair and Beauty, in Hartlepool's Church Square, was broken into at the weekend, leaving Lynne Devine 63, “disappointed” and “anxious”.

The front window was smashed and skin care products and perfumes were taken in the incident, which follows a similar offence in December last year.

The salon has been based in Church Square for more than 28 years after moving from York Road and had not suffered any break-ins until this point.

Lynne Devine at her salon, Shapers for Devine Hair and Beauty, in Church Square, Hartlepool, which has suffered two burglaries in recent months.

Lynne, who lives in town, said: “This is the second time in five months and basically it’s the same crime.

"They came through the front window, smashed the front window, climbed in and just took all the perfumes, aftershaves and very expensive skin care.

"When I came in yesterday, I just shook all day. I just can’t believe it was exactly the same as last time.”

The business had already experienced a tough year after opening only for short periods of time over the past 14 months due to coronavirus restrictions and missing key trading periods, such as Christmas and Easter.

Lynne Devine outside her salon Shapers for Devine Hair and Beauty, in Church Square, Hartlepool.

Lynne, who employs six members of staff, said: "It was difficult but we have kept our heads above water.”

Although she is optimistic as the salon has had many bookings since reopening in April, she added that the break-ins left her “disappointed”.

Speaking about Sunday’s burglary, she said: "I can’t explain what I felt like yesterday. I felt very, very anxious.

“We now have a bell put on the door and a latch, so nobody can just walk in.

“I feel disappointed that I’ve worked hard all these years and being able to survive lockdown and then this happened again. It’s a bit scary really.”

Lynne added: “We’ll just keep trying. We’ll just fight back. You can’t let things like that knock your business that’s been going successfully for so many years.”

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: “We are dealing with a report of a break-in and theft from a business in Church Square at around 9.35am on Sunday, May 16.

“Officers are following a number of lines of enquiry.

“There are no arrests at this time but our investigation is ongoing.”

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