'Sickening' raid on Sunderland newsagents leaves owner devastated as she battles back from lockdown
A Sunderland newsagent has been left sickened after a suspected thief stole hundreds of pounds from her business – just as she was fighting back from the Covid-19 shutdown.
Michelle Todd owns and runs the News Kiosk at the entrance to Jacky Whites Market in The Bridges shopping centre. It’s her sole livelihood.
She was doing tasks including delivering papers to a nearby shop when she says a thief raided her kiosk at 7.30am on Monday, August 24.
Michelle’s bag was stolen, containing hundreds of pounds intended for paying her council tax, as well as her glasses, mobile phone, all her bank cards and her driving licence.
She said the thief also took cigarettes which were worth more than £600.
Heartbroken Michelle said: “I was just getting over the three months of being shut down when this happens. When I realised what had happened, I felt sick.
"I reopened on June 15 after the lockdown. This is my livelihood and I was trying to get back on my feet.
"I have been here 19 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.”
Michelle believes the culprit must have been watching her as she opened her business.
She said: “There are no words to describe it. I am devastated. I was just going about my business.
"I was going to be paying my council tax today and they have taken all of that. They have taken my glasses, all my bank cards, my driving licence, everything.
"This is a huge amount of money for me.”
Michelle said she has reported the matter to the police.
A spokesperson from Northumbria Police said: “Shortly after 8am today (Monday, August 24) we received a report of a theft from The Kiosk at The Bridges Shopping Centre, Market Square, Sunderland.
“A handbag containing a purse with £300 in cash, a mobile phone and £700 worth of cigarettes were reported stolen.
“Officers are reviewing CCTV and enquires are on-going. Anyone with any information that may assist the case is asked to contact police, quoting log 154 240820.”