RAIDS at an antique store and animal charity shop have caused “devastation” for staff in another wave of crime to hit Radcliffe.

Owners of Classical Times: Antiques and Collectables said the break-in at their premises could result in the shop’s closure.

It is the second time the business in Blackburn Street has become a target since its opening just over one year ago.

During a raid that lasted three hours, antique knives, Blue Mountain Pottery and other collectables were stolen.

One of the thieves was caught on CCTV, delving through the glass cabinet inside the store.

The Blue Cross animal charity shop, in Blackburn Street, also fell victim to thieves over the weekend.

Just two weeks ago, there were reports of more than 10 break-ins at businesses in Radcliffe town centre within seven days.

Police said they are taking action following the spate of burglaries — which have occurred mainly in Blackburn Street and Ainsworth Road.

Sue Jackson, who co-owns Classical Times with husband Ian, said: “We have just about had enough. We are considering shutting the shop.

"We are local people serving local people. It is really upsetting to have this happen.

“They went up the fire escape at the back and forced open the fire door. The alarm triggered and security guards attended but the two men ran off. Then 30 minutes later they returned and broke through two internal doors. They stashed items in shopping bags they found in the kitchen.”

CCTV shows the hooded men raiding the glass cabinets inside the shop. Staff said antique knives, coins and other small valuable collectables had been taken. They have reported the break-in, which occurred at about 2am on Monday, to the police.

Mr and Mrs Jackson are offering a cash reward for information that leads to the identity and arrest of the offenders.

Following the burglary, the have fitted a reinforced door and installed other additional security measures.

The shop was also targeted in February when gold and diamond jewellery was stolen, costing the firm more than £4,000.

The Blue Cross charity shop was also set upon over the weekend.

Mark Corbett, Head of Retail and Enterprise said: “Blue Cross is devastated about the weekend break-in to our charity shop.

“All of our shops are a community effort — our shelves are stocked with goods brought in by locals who support us, and our tills are manned by volunteers giving up their time to help.

“This is such a shame, particularly at this time of year when many people visit our stores to buy gifts for loved ones.”

A number of break-ins were reported at businesses in Radcliffe town centre towards the end of November and in early December.

Police said they had identified two individuals responsible for the crimes.

A police spokeswoman said: "Shortly before 10.15am on Monday, December 10, police were called to reports of a burglary at Classical Times Antique Shop in Blackburn Street in Radcliffe, which is believed to have occurred sometime between 2am and 5am that morning.

"No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

"Shortly before 9am on Monday, December 10, police were called to reports of a burglary at Blue Cross charity shop in Blackburn Street, Radcliffe, which is believed to have happened at some point over the weekend.

"Enquiries established that a quantity of cash had been taken.

"No arrests have been made."

Anyone with information about the break-in at Blue Cross charity shop should call police on 101, quoting incident number 477 of December 10, 2018.

Anyone with information about the break-in at Classical Times should call police on 101, quoting incident number 580 of December 10, 2018.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.