The "mortified" manager of a new women’s fashion shop has said she "wasn’t surprised" her business was burgled just hours after its opening day.

This comes after a spate of burglaries in the area has prompted businesses to demand street CCTV.

Laura Eastwood, 52, closed Sweet Sundae in Chislehurst High Street last year before opening Annabel’s Too on Thursday (April 4).

"It was brilliant," Laura told News Shopper. "Everything went really well and a lot of old regulars from the sweet shop came in too."

However, the initial joy turned into a sinking feeling when her phone rang at 4.30am the next morning.

Laura said: "I was just mortified and burst into tears. I said all week that we would be next because it’s going on all down the high street.

"To be honest I wasn’t surprised. I was waiting on that phone call."

She added: "I have been talking about the shop since last summer. Overnight they can just come and do that after our hard work and cause that destruction.

"It’s very sad."

Laura, who lives nearby, arrived at the shop to find the glass front door smashed open with a metal grate.

A till, holding a float of £200, along with t-shirts were snatched during the "smash and grab" burglary.

The damage, including a piece of furniture located by the window, will cost the shop around £2,000.

Laura, despite being exhausted, opened as usual the next day and "put on a brave face" to show her new business would not be beaten.

However, she admitted: "Burglaries are a big concern for shop owners here. You don’t know when they will be back.

"It always seems to happen around 4.30am and the awful thing is that you don’t know what you’ll find."

Laura, along with owners of other businesses in Chislehurst which have been targeted, are asking Bromley Council to install CCTV on the high street.

She said three cameras were necessary to try and record number plates and that store CCTV rarely proved useful because burglars wear balaclavas or crash helmets.

A recent meeting between shopkeepers in Chislehurst estimated the cameras would cost £12,000 each, and they are now asking the council to intervene.

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"For now, we just have to get on with it," Laura said. "We will keep morale up because we want to be successful.

"Saturday was a great success. The shop was packed, and we were open until 8pm."

Photo of Laura taken hours before the break-in

News Shopper:

A police spokesman said no arrests had been made at the time of publishing.

Councillor Kate Lymer, cabinet member public protection and enforcement said: “We must remember that the fear of crime is greater than the incidence of crime itself, especially in our Borough, which is recognised as being a lower crime area. 

"In light of concerns, we are looking very carefully at the levels of crime locally and other factors too. 

"As well as identifying the necessary funds, including ongoing maintenance, the installation of CCTV now requires a data protection impact assessment to be completed but we will give this whole matter careful consideration. 

"Factually, CCTV has been installed in Chislehurst for some months now, albeit on a temporary basis. 

"Whilst the council already continues to invest significant sums in CCTV across the borough and is broadly supportive of the principles of CCTV, it must be remembered that CCTV does not simply stop crime and nor does it necessarily capture the incident in question.”