Couple watched burglars raiding their shop in terror
A COUPLE have seen two burglars jailed after a year in which they lost more than £18,000 to thieves.
Linda and Brian Yates were awoken at 3.45am in their flat above their shop, Porthtowan Village Stores, on August 15 last year as five men broke in, smashing a window with a metal pole.
They watched on CCTV as the gang stole cigarettes, tobacco, cigarette papers and bars of chocolate to the value of £1,120.38, terrified they would find the door to their apartment and come up.
The raiders left and returned three times to collect more loot.
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Then, months later and after Mrs Yates had been diagnosed with cancer, they found out their employee and friend Natalie Viljoen had pilfered £17,149.31 from their till between January and November of last year.
Viljoen, 35, of Sandy Cove, Porthtowan, was last month jailed at Truro Crown Court for 16 months.
And on Tuesday, Jamie Michael Benjamin Woolley, 22, of Doubletrees, St Blazey, and Charles Power, 27, of Penmorvah Road, Truro, pleaded guilty to the burglary as their trial was due to start. They were sentenced to 16 months each.
David Evans, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the pair had fled the scene in a car but were spotted by a police officer, who they led on a several mile-long chase until the driver ended up on a cycle path.
The vehicle was strewn with the cigarettes and chocolate. Another defendant had the charges against him dropped while three others have yet to be dealt with.
After the hearing, Mrs Yates said: "We were totally devastated. We did not know what was going to happen next and that is what forced us to move.
"We are very pleased with the sentence and would like to thank the police because it is marvellous what they do to get these cases into court."