A VENUE owner has warned businesses under lockdown could be targeted by criminals after his building was broken into.

Yesterday a masked burglar broke down the doors of Concorde 2 on Brighton seafront and stole its door entry system in broad daylight.

CCTV footage shows the looter picking up a brick and smashing through the front door at 10am yesterday, grabbing an iPad, and cycling away down Madeira Drive.

Concorde owner Russell Haynes said he was worried buildings closed during the coronavirus lockdown have become a target for criminals.


“All I’ve been doing recently is trying to absorb the fact we might be shut for months on end,” he said.

“All the pubs and clubs are shut because of the lockdown so maybe we’re a target.

“It didn’t take long, we’ve only been shut for a week so I’m sure others will be at risk.

“I was worried about break-ins but I didn’t think it would happen this quickly

“The police were really helpful but they didn’t sound surprised.”

Mr Haynes said the venue was already under financial stress after it closed last week.

“It’s a bloody expensive building to run so I’ve been concentrating on the finances,” he said.

“Now I’ve got to empty the place of anything of value so more burglars don’t come.”

The popular seaside venue had spent the beginning of the year announcing special concerts for its 20th anniversary.

But last week it closed until further notice as the Government imposed increasingly strict social distancing measures amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Police are now looking for the burglar but found no trace of him at the venue yesterday.

The suspect is described as a 6ft man of large build wearing a black hoodie, a black beanie hat, and a mask covering his face.

He also carried JD Sports drawstring bag around his neck.

After the break-in he fled on a dark-coloured mountain bike heading west down Madeira Drive.

“Police received a report of a break-in at Concorde 2 in Madeira Drive, Brighton, about 10.10am on Wednesday,” a Sussex Police spokesman said.

“An iPad was reportedly stolen from the premises, which was accessed by forced entry.

“Officers carried out a search of the area.

“Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 310 of 25/03.

“Business owners are encouraged to remain vigilant.”

  •  The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. To donate visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund.