A BURGLAR believed to be responsible for several break-ins at businesses on the same night is being hunted.

Thousands of pounds of damage was caused by the raider during an overnight crime spree in Rawtenstall and Crawshawbooth.

Hairdressing salons, pubs and butchers were among the businesses affected.

Bryony Payne, of Whip and Kitten bar in Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, said it was ‘the worst morning ever’ when she came into work to discover the burglar had broken several windows and stolen the till.

Bryony, who has been running the firm for 11 months, said: “We have been told that between 1.30am and 6am around 12 businesses were targeted. When we got the call, the police were already there and found that the staff tips had been taken and the till floats and then the till worth £1,000 was stolen.

“We managed to open the bar that night but there was lot of stress to try to buy a till. The spirit of local people was great as they turned out to give donations so the staff had some tip money at the end of the week.

“The amount of people who came to support it was great and it turned the worst day into a good one with the vibes.”

The break-ins took place overnight on September 27 and 28 and Bryony believes it has really affected morale in the business community.

She said: “People are working hard to enrich the community then one person comes along and just ruins it for everyone.”

Also affected was Geoff Riley of Riley’s Butchers.

He said: “Our back window was broken and the cash drawers were taken. I think £200 was in the till. It is a sad state of affairs and is a nightmare having to pay for it all to be fixed.”

Tufties hair salon in Rawtenstall, posted a video on its Facebook page of the suspect on CCTV.

It read: “Tufties was broken into again at 6.05am along with other businesses between Crawshawbooth and Rawtenstall. If you were passing Newchurch Road, did you see anyone? Blue jacket, grey joggers, white trainers, black cap with white on it and red gloves. He stole a Samsung mobile in a black case.”

Sgt Michael Johnson of Rossendale Police said: “There were some burglaries from business premises.

“We are still investigating this incident and enquiries are still ongoing with CCTV footage and forensic evidence being looked at.”