Thieves steal steaks and cash

PUBLISHED: 11:22 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 31 May 2010

THIEVES with a taste for award-winning food broke into a county pub and stole charity boxes and 10 fresh steaks from the kitchen fridge. Popular pub and restaurant, The Axe & Compasses in Arkesden, near Saffron Walden, was raided by the hungry burglars in

THIEVES with a taste for award-winning food broke into a county pub and stole charity boxes and 10 fresh steaks from the kitchen fridge.

Popular pub and restaurant, The Axe & Compasses in Arkesden, near Saffron Walden, was raided by the hungry burglars in the early hours of Friday (November 28) morning.

The rural inn, which won a national Best Food Pub award in 2007, employs four chefs to cater for lunch and evening diners.

Landlord Themis Christou said: "I have been at the pub for 16 years and this is the first time we have been burgled.

"They stole the £150 float in till, the public telephone box which is in the pub and charity boxes which were filled up with coins."

The thieves, who stole a total of more than £1000 in cash, had obviously heard about the pub's impressive menu because they did not leave until they had emptied the chef's fridge.

"We have a good reputation and maybe they wanted to try the food," said Mr Christou. "The steak is popular and we ordered another delivery straight away so that none of our customers would have to miss out when we reopened."

The burglars gained entry to the old building, which dates back to 1650, by removing a pane of glass from the back window. The cleaner first noticed the break-in when she discovered part of the pub's till on the opposite side of the road.

"I was shocked when I heard what had happened, but you have to be realistic about these things." said Mr Christou. "Occasionally pubs will get burgled and you can only do so much to prevent it. We have changed all the locks and the window has been repaired, so hopefully we are more secure now than we were before."

Police and forensics worked the scene on Friday morning, but the pub was open as usual by the afternoon and steak was back on the menu.

Another rural pub with a reputation for good food, The Crown House in Great Chesterford, was burgled overnight last Friday (November 21).

Thieves gained entry by smashing a front window and stole about £200 in cash.

Anyone with any information about either burglaries should contact Saffron Walden Police Station on 0300 333 4444.

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