The manager of an Indian restaurant in Coney Hall says he is "still speechless" after his business was burgled for the first time in ten years.

A crowbar was used to break into the back of i-naga, on Croydon Road, in the early hours of Sunday morning (August 4).

CCTV showed a man, described as white, thin and tall, pocket the tip box, steal the till float before he ripped a safe off the wall in a backroom.

An emotional Abdul Hay, 46, who has managed the restaurant for a decade, told News Shopper he was devastated.

"I feel sick to my stomach," he said. "He got a substantial amount – at least £4,000 easy.

"Customers noticed as soon as they saw my face that something was wrong."

The damage was discovered by a chef on Sunday lunchtime.

Despite the financial blow, Abdul said the response from locals has been overwhelming.

"That’s what is keeping me going," he said. "It’s been unbelievable, honestly unbelievable. They tried to start a crowd funding page, but I said I don’t want that."

He added: "We even opened on Sunday and on Monday evening we were booked up with 45 people because of what happened."

Abdul said CCTV of the man responsible has been sent to police.

A nearby newsagents was also looted two weeks ago, and Abdul believes the same culprit may be responsible.

"We have never experienced this," the manager said. "We don’t have trouble, it’s Coney Hall, one of the most expensive parts of London."

The thief even nicked a spare key and Abdul has since had the locks chained.

A police spokesman said access was gained between 1am on Saturday, August 3 and 12pm on Sunday, August 4.

He added: "A quantity of cash was stolen from the building. Enquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made."

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