THIEVES have shattered shopfronts in the dead of night and made off with heaps of cash in a spate of business burglaries.

A victim whose café was broken into early on Monday morning believes a professional gang is to blame.

Owner Ali Parsa has CCTV footage showing a thief barging through the glass doors of Cosy Cottage Café in London Road, Brighton at 2.30 am.

The burglar – wearing a hooded anorak and a backpack – is then seen making off with the till and a bottle of alcohol.

Sussex Police said he stole several hundred pounds in cash and an iPad.

The thief left the door wide open and returned ten minutes later, torch in hand, to search the basement.

Mr Parsa was shocked by the burglar’s brazen attitude.

Pointing at the video from a table in his café, he said: “He’s so confident. He doesn’t even bother to wear gloves.

“And then he comes back with a new bag ten minutes later.

“He’s wearing a designer hoodie, designer bag, and designer shoes.

“These people are professional. They wouldn’t hit big companies.

“Small businesses are an easy target for them.”

Mr Parsa said that in the past month, several other businesses in London Road have been targeted in a similar way.

He said the burglaries tend to take place in the small hours. Sussex Police said an unsuccessful attempt to break into an address in Trafalgar Arches and a collection tin stolen from shop in Kensington Gardens could be related.

Mr Parsa said: “It’s the same gang, I’m 100 per cent sure. The way they steal is the same. They break the window and smash through the shopfront, then make off with whole till.

“One of them – this guy – is this tall, skinny man who wears light coloured hoodies. I went shop by shop and traced his route.

“He must be living behind London Road or have his car parked there, because that’s where he goes to stash the stuff he’s stolen.”

“Honestly, I feel nervous. I can’t sleep at night because every ten minutes I have to wake up and check my shop. I had to pay £4,200 for an emergency shop front. I can’t concentrate on my business. I’m scared someone could come back in here next week – if they had a knife, I don’t know what I’d do. This is one of the roughest roads in Brighton. As business people we don’t feel safe to trade here any more.”

Sussex Police said: “Police are investigating and anyone with information can contact Sussex Police online at or by calling 101, quoting serial 260 of 09/09.