Detectives investigating attacks on two Indian restaurants in Sunderland city centre say they are keeping an open mind as to whether they are linked.
Sanjeev Saghera, of Papadoms, and Kam Chera, who runs The Funky Indian, believe they are being deliberately targeted.
We are keeping an open mind as to whether these incidents may be linked.Inspector Jamie Southwell
Papadoms, in High Street West, had its window smashed after staff had closed up for the night on Monday, while The Funky Indian, in Tavistock Place, was broken into twice in the space of three nights last week.
On Sunday night, burglars broke through the ceiling and took cash from the till and safe along with wine and spirits, with staff lockers searched.
The venues had to close for their lunchtime service while the damage was cleared.
Both businessmen say the damage, along with a series of “unsavoury incidents” which have included fake bookings and suspect TripAdvisor reviews, have led them to think their businesses are being targeted.
They also say their staff have been left fearful of further trouble.
Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell said: “Police are investigating these offences and are appealing for witnesses.
“We are keeping an open mind as to whether these incidents may be linked.
“We’d appeal for anyone who was in the vicinity of these restaurants when the incidents occurred, and who may have seen anything suspicious to contact police.”
Northumbria Police can be called on 101 or Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.