Burglars target historic shop in Boston, jeopardising community vision for site - may be linked to other raids, say police

The former A. Cheer and Sons Ltd, in South Street, Boston.The former A. Cheer and Sons Ltd, in South Street, Boston.
The former A. Cheer and Sons Ltd, in South Street, Boston.
A project to bring a former menswear shop in Boston into community use, while showcasing its extraordinarily rich history, has been put into jeopardy after the building was targeted by burglars.

The former A. Cheer and Sons premises, in South Street, Boston, was raided overnight on Saturday (May 11) into Sunday.

Police are investigating whether it is linked to raids on other commercial premises reported in town.

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The old Cheers shop was taken on by property developer Shane Gostelow, 40, last April.

Entry into the building was forced through an upper window. These scrapes on the outside of the building were found following the raid.Entry into the building was forced through an upper window. These scrapes on the outside of the building were found following the raid.
Entry into the building was forced through an upper window. These scrapes on the outside of the building were found following the raid.

Shane has been working hard to bring the building back into use and during that process has made a series of amazing historical finds on site, including an oak-panelled office (previously hidden behind shop fittings, chipboard, plaster, numerous layers of wallpaper, and Hessian) and even a tunnel.

However, his hopes of opening up the space for the community have suffered a major setback from the raid.

Offenders not only damaged property, but, crucially, stole Shane’s tools. Without these, he says, he is ‘not capable of going forward’.

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Shane says the shop insurance will not cover the loss, because the tools were from his home; his home insurance, meanwhile, will not cover the loss because the tools were stolen from a place of work.

“It has left us shaken and put the future of the project in doubt,” he said, adding that the break-in has come at a ‘very delicate time’, not least because he and his partner are expecting a baby soon.

“Boston really wanted us to succeed,” he continued. “It’s such a shame that cowardly thieves have potentially ruined it for all of us.”

Shane asks members of the public to be on the lookout for DeWalt drills, saws, batteries and chargers, marked with the initials SG.

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Lincolnshire Police is investigating a number of raids on commercial properties in Boston, with others having taken place in Wide Bargate and Dolphin Lane.

“We are considering some of these offences to be linked,” a spokesman for the service said. “Tools and electrical equipment being kept in the premises have been targeted. We will be tasking officers for patrols overnight to monitor business premises in the area.”

“We believe the offences are taking place overnight, but investigations are ongoing to confirm this,” the spokesman continued. “Our advice is, if you see anything suspicious taking place, please contact Lincolnshire Police immediately on 999. Otherwise, if you have any information in regard to these offences please contact Lincs Police on 101 or report anonymously through the independent charity Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.”