BURGLARS have targeted an Indian restaurant five times in two weeks – making off with whisky and tucking into vanilla ice-cream during the latest raid.
The thieves have left staff at the In Touch restaurant in Inverleith Gardens “living in fear” since they launched the campaign of break-ins.
Ruhu Choudry, the restaurant owner, has boosted security in the wake of the burglaries, adding CCTV cameras and heavier doors.
Police have introduced extra patrols to cover the business following the first break-in, which took place on January 24.
During that raid, the restaurant’s emergency rear door was forced open and a laptop, safe, cash and a mobile phone were among the stolen items.
The thieves staged three more attempted break-ins over the next ten days, damaging doors and smashing windows.
The culprits managed to break in again on Wednesday, ransacking the premises but stealing only a bottle of Jonnie Walker whisky.
Mr Choudry, 37, who has run the business for the past two years, said that the raider also took out a tub of vanilla ice-cream from the fridge.
He added: “The chef found the box of ice-cream and a scoop sitting on the counter. The thief obviously felt hungry while he was doing this.
“The emergency door had been forced open so there was more damage there.
“The thief left behind a screwdriver and things but only the whisky was stolen.
“Our staff are living in fear because they don’t know what to expect when they come to work in the morning. It’s really made life difficult for us. We’ve had joiners and other people going in and out, fixing things, so it’s difficult to focus on running the business for our chefs and waiters.
“I don’t know if we are being deliberately targeted, or if this is the same people each time. But with five incidents in 14 days, it does seem like it could be the same person.
“There were also other times in the last two weeks where we have seen screwdrivers marks on the doors so there might have been other attempts to break in too.”
Mr Choudry said that the break-in on January 24 had been the first the business had suffered.
He added: “They broke open the emergency door and stole a laptop, a small safe, cash and a mobile phone one of the waiters had left on a charger.”
The following night, a side window was smashed in a break-in attempt while a failed attempt on January 27 saw another small window broken and the front door damaged.
An attempt to force open the emergency door was made on February 3 before the latest raid on Wednesday.
Mr Choudry said: “The police have been very good. They’ve put on extra patrols and they come into the restaurant to check we’re OK.
“I hope they catch the person soon because it’s had a really bad effect on our staff.”
A police spokeswoman said they were investigating a “number of incidents of housebreaking and attempted housebreakings” from the past couple of weeks.
She added: “We would appeal for anyone with any information, or who may have noticed people acting suspiciously, to contact us on 0131 311 3131.”