HUNDREDS of pounds of brand-name shoes have been stolen during a break-in at a busy Colne shopping arcade.
Traders in the Arcade in Market Street said they are fearing for their livelihoods after they were targeted for the second time in a week.
On Monday, police said burglars managed to break in to eshoes and steal dozens of pairs of well-known branded shoes including Dr Martens, Rocketdogs, jelly shoes, Dunlop pumps and Dolcis.
The latest break-in comes just days after the arcade was hit on July 20 by thieves climbing onto bins at the rear.
They targeted a bridal shop, a sweet shop, an e-cigarettes shop, and a cafe, and it is thought they were looking for cash.
Owner of eshoes, Maria Birkett, 28, said: “It’s my livelihood that they’ve been selling on, it’s something that I’ve paid for.
“I work all day six days a week to pay for my house and my bills, and it’s an easy ride for them.”
Maria has two children, Oliver, five, and Emma, one, and the income from the shop supports her family.
She said: “This is our only source of income.
“Every week I’m growing the business and trying to put the money back in, it’s a case of how long it will take to recoup the loss.
“Even if I claim on the insurance there’s still the excess to pay, and the insurance will go up.”
Frank Allanson, 61, owner of Arcade Cafe said thieves took a flatscreen TV, two charity collection boxes and the staff tip box.
He said: “They obviously had to get away last time, but they’d clocked the TV.
“It’s a big TV so it would have taken more than one of them to carry it.
“We’ve been watching the Commonweath Games, and so were the customers, but we can’t any longer unfortunately.
“They were disturbed the first time because there were coins on the floor from the charity boxes.”
Mr Allanson said the community had been very supportive with customers helping to build up the tips again.
Additional security measures have since been put in place, said arcade owner John Barrett.
Police are now investigating the thefts and are urging anyone who is offered cut-price shoes to contact them on 101.
Insp Paul Goodall said: “We think both jobs are linked because they happened at the same time. If anyone has any information about it or knows of any one selling cheap shoes please let us know.”