A RESTAURANT has been broken into for the second time in under three months.

Thieves mashed the window at Bistro Nantais on Church Road, Hove, during the night on Wednesday and stole the till as well as an iPad.

Owner Pascal Benamari said: “It is the same story as last time. I found the front window was broken and they had run off with the whole till. They are only interested in the cash, as they left expensive bottles of wine.”

The French restaurant suffered a similar break-in in July. The damage cost Mr Benamari about £1,000 to repair.

He said: “It seems to be a gang, as they are using the same techniques as last time.

“We have CCTV footage which we’ve given to police, and I think they will eventually be caught.

“This time I’m going to claim on insurance.”

Police attended the restaurant on Thursday following the break-in.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The front window had been smashed and an iPad and a till containing an unknown quantity of cash were stolen.

“A till was later discovered discarded nearby and this is being forensically examined.”

The burglary is the latest in a spate of similar crimes in the Hove area this year.

Businesses in Western Road including Buon Appetito and City Books have also been targeted.

Last month La Cave a Fromage cheese shop, also in Western Road, closed down not long after thieves struck in broad daylight.

Mr Benamari said there needs to be better security in the streets to deter thieves.

He said: “An alarm system would cost me a fortune and it wouldn’t stop thieves – they would break in anyway.

“Instead there should be CCTV on the street as well, so there is an increased level of security.

“I’m just sad for small businesses like mine. I arrive in the morning and I can’t trade. I’ve lost money and I need to replace the window again – all in all it’s a big expense and a lot more work.”

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information about is asked to report it online or call police on 101, and quote serial 260 of 12/09.