Sunderland’s Geek Retreat forced to temporarily close after raid

Police are investigating after an overnight break in at Geek Retreat in Sunderland which has left the venue unable to open for business.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 5:50 pm

The incident is understood to have taken place overnight between Sunday, October 24, and Monday, October 25, with thieves causing damage to the gaming cafe on John Street, before making off with money and other valuable items.

Images posted on the cafe’s Facebook page show the ransacked venue, with damage being caused to the ceiling by those responsible, meaning that trading cannot go ahead until it is repaired.

It is reported that thieves have taken the safe with the weekend’s takings, as well as cash from the till and a shelf full of valuable trading card games.

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The venue on John Street was broken into overnight between Sunday, October 24, and Monday, October 25.

Stewart has explained to the Echo the severity of the situation for the new business but he has vowed it will come back stronger and thanked everyone for their support.

He said: “We’ve been doing really well recently so it is a massive kick in the teeth, it is a proper setback.

"Thankfully we will come back from it but something like this could have finished us if it had happened during our earlier months of trading.

Owners Laura Green and Stewart Brass only opened the cafe in May this year as lockdown restrictions eased.

"Unfortunately it does mean that we will miss some trading throughout the half-term week as we were supposed to have Halloween themed events running but it is just a waiting game at the moment until we can get everything fixed.

“I’ve nearly been in tears at the outpouring of support from everyone, it goes shows how nice the community are that we have managed to build up in such a short space of time.

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"We’re so grateful to everyone who has offered to come down and help us clean up."

Thieves took the weekend's takings, as well as money from the till and valuable trading cards.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson commented: “An investigation has been launched following a report of a burglary overnight at Geek Retreat, on John Street, Sunderland.

“Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20211025-0288.”

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The cafe will have to remain closed until repair work can be carried out.