A POPULAR deli has been seriously damaged after it was burgled by “pie thieves”.

Fiveways Deli in Ditchling Road, Brighton, was broken into on Friday night.

The burglars smashed through the front door and stole goods, including pies and a charity box.

They then escaped through the back door.

One Brighton resident who regularly shops at the deli said: “I just think it’s so odd they stole pies.

“I know they also stole a bit of money, and a charity box I believe, but you wouldn’t have thought pies would be on their list of things to take.

“We have a ‘who ate all the pies?’ case here.

“Maybe we should be warning others that there are pie thieves on the loose.

“It is a real shame.”

Owner Julie Miles confirmed money had also been snatched along with the pies.

“They took one of our charity boxes which I thought was a bit out of order, and money from the tip box and the till,” she said.

“They also took things out the fridge like soft drinks, I can tell they obviously had a good rummage through all the cupboards and boxes.

“But they really did take lots of pies.

“It’s pathetic.”

The door to the deli has been completely smashed and will need replacing.

Ms Miles said the damage will cost her at least £300 if not £400 to fix.

“I am going to have to create a whole new look now because I will have to replace the entire bit of glass.”

“We were only broken in to a couple of years ago, same time as the butchers on the same road as us.

“At that point they came through the back door.

“We also only recently had our front window smashed, about two months ago.

“This does really seem to be happening a lot lately,” said Ms Miles.

“There have been a lot of cases of people’s businesses being broken into in this area and other parts of Brighton and Hove.”

Her daughter Ellis Fraser said: “The Fiveways Deli was broken into for the second time in two months.

“They have smashed the glass and managed to force the lock out.

“There is never any cash left on the premises except for some change in the till which they have cleared out.”

She urges anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area on Friday night to contact staff at the deli.

Police officers confirmed they were called to the deli after the break-in.

They are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

A police spokesman said: “We have had reports of a burglary at Fiveways Deli.

“We can confirm that police are dealing with the incident that happened there.”