Thief steals takings of 'busiest trading day for months' from Bishop's Stortford shop Carla's Curios & Creations
A "very intimidating" thief stole more than £900 from a Bishop's Stortford shopkeeper struggling to make ends meet in the midst of the Covid crisis.
Carla Marshall, who has owned and run Carla’s Curios & Creations in Church Street for nine years, says she was left feeling as if she had been mugged.
Like many small business owners, she has experienced a challenging year because of the coronavirus pandemic. She has started selling her own belongings as well as the eclectic range of goods in her interiors, furniture and gift shop.
But on Saturday (Oct 17) she had her busiest trading day for months. “The majority of that day was cash, which was so unusual,” said Carla.
After the busy flurry had passed, Carla put her takings in a little black pouch and had a rest before going to lock the cash away. At this point, a tall black man wearing a smart coat, woolly hat and face covering entered.
Carla was immediately put on edge. “I pick up on people’s energy, and his energy, as soon as he came in, wasn’t right,” she said.
He walked straight up to her and told her he wanted to buy a mirror which was displayed behind her, halfway up a flight of stairs. “I got the feeling just do what he says,” said Carla.
She went to retrieve the mirror but, in her unease, neglected to put the cash somewhere safe. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of the money, but I’m so used to not having any here,” she said.
She got the mirror for the man, who asked for it to be wrapped. Again, he was left unattended for a few moments as Carla went to fetch the packaging.
“I felt like someone was watching me, so I thought 'Just get on with it'.”
Once he had left, Carla realised her money pouch and three candles were missing.
“I haven’t had cash in a lump sum for ages,” she said. “I was thinking I was having such a good day. Another ten minutes and I would have locked it up. He was very intimidating.
“It made me not trust anything again. It just throws you. You think 'What am I working for?'”
The theft was reported to police. Bishop's Stortford officers are to review the shop's CCTV as part of their enquiries. If you saw the thief or have any information about him, call Herts police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.