Ballymena newsagent Eugene Diamond grateful to public after shop burgled
A Co Antrim newsagent has thanked people for their good wishes following a break-in at his long-established family business.
Eugene Diamond was speaking after vandals broke into his premises on Broughshane Street in Ballymena in the early hours of Monday morning.
Entry was gained to the rear of the property via a window at around 2am.
Eugene said: "I got a call at about 2.20am to say the alarm was going off. They got into the building but the alarm system kicked in when they reached the top of the stairs that lead into the shop."
"We've had to fix the rear door and window so you're talking about a few hundred pounds to repair," he added.
"It's about 10 years since anything like this happened to us."
The newsagent, whose shop is on one of the main routes in and out of the town centre, last year marked 40 years in business.
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"There aren't too many independent shop owners left now but you get through these sorts of things. You hope it will never happen to you, but you expect it to, so when it does you just have to shake it off," he said.
Eugene, who is famous for posting images of the front pages of newspapers on Twitter, opens the doors of his shop at 5.30am each day, and said Monday was no different.
"People were talking about it when they came in and I'm grateful to them for their very kind words. They hate to see these sorts of things happening to local businesses," he said.
Many took to Twitter on Monday to express their sadness over the incident, including Ulster Unionist peer Lord Kilclooney, who wrote: "Sorry about the news but you have great spirit. What a wonderful example to others."
BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Rainey added: "That's terrible news to wake up to. Hope you can get everything sorted."
Police are appealing for information following the break-in. A PSNI spokesman added: "Nothing appears to have been stolen."