Seaham store targeted twice in three weeks in run-up to Christmas

Ali Zaman inside of his Dawdon Store, Queen Alexandra Road. Seaham.
Ali Zaman inside of his Dawdon Store, Queen Alexandra Road. Seaham.

Owners of a shop which has been broken into twice in less than three weeks have spoken of their despair.

Thieves struck at Dawdon Store, in Seaham, taking hundreds of packets of cigarettes amounting to more than £8,000 last month.

The hole in the roof of Ali Zaman's Dawdon Store, Queen Alexandra Road. Seaham where intruders gained entry.

The hole in the roof of Ali Zaman's Dawdon Store, Queen Alexandra Road. Seaham where intruders gained entry.

Less than three weeks later, the shop has been targeted again with damage caused to the roof and ceiling and stock, including cigarettes, stolen.

The first burglary, which happened on November 23, left owners Ali and Sumera Zaman, who have three girls together, thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Mr Zaman said: “This time of year is a big business time.

“For it to happen twice in just a couple of weeks, I don’t know what to do.

“We have to stay open, I can’t afford to close for days when this happens.”

Police have confirmed they are investigating the most recent incident and have appealed for witnesses to contact them over the burglary and break-in at the Queen Alexandra Road shop.

Mr Zaman arrived at the shop on Monday morning after the school run to find the shop had been broken into again.

The shop has been targeted a number of times since the family took over.

In June 2012, a masked attacker brandishing a large kitchen knife tried to rob the shop while Mr Zaman was behind the counter.

The raider made repeated demands for Ali to “put the money in the bag” after throwing over a plastic carrier, but the shop boss ran into the living quarters and locked the door behind him.

The would-be-thief fled without taking anything.

In 2016, three men attacked Mr Zaman, 33, with a knife and screwdriver.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “Police were notified of an overnight break-in at around 9.15am on Monday. Inquiries are ongoing.”