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‘This business is our livelihood’: Community rallies behind Fife shop owner after ‘relentless’ thief ransacks property

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A close-knit central Fife community has united in anger after a well-known fish and chip shop was ransacked by a “relentless” thief over the weekend.

Owners of Zak’s Fish Bar in Ballingry have appealed for the public’s help in finding the man responsible for breaking into their premises in Benarty Square in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Entry to the building was forced via a back door, and it is understood a significant sum of cash was taken along with the shop’s CCTV recorder.

But while the shop’s own camera footage may not be available, owner Shaf Ali has managed to obtain CCTV pictures from another premises which appears to show a young man aged in his 20s and 30s apparently biding his time before committing the break-in.

“This business is our livelihood,” he said.

“We work day in and day out to run our business and provide top quality food and a fantastic, friendly service to our local community and by doing so, we provide a roof over our families head and put food on our table.

“We are hurt and devastated that someone thinks it is OK for them to do this to us or any other business for that matter.

“Someone must know something. This person has stood outside in the cold whilst continuously trying to break into the shop which took them a considerable amount of time as we have seen from the CCTV footage.

“This person is relentless and certainly did not give up until they achieved their goal.”

Police are reviewing the CCTV footage and are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area between 1.15am and 3.25am to come forward by calling 101.

The man they are keen to trace is said to be of skinny build, was wearing jogging bottoms or possibly workman’s trousers, a hoodie and a face mask.

News of the robbery has shocked the entirely Benarty area, and Lorna Gallagher, manager of the Benarty Community Shop, which was itself targeted by a pair of thieves over the summer, led the rallying call in condemnation of the robbery.

“My stomach hit the ground when I read this,” she commented.

“It’s almost four months since our community shop was also broken into – it’s a terrible feeling.

“I have faith that our community will help all they can and this person will be caught.”

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