The devastated owner of an award-winning Northampton curry house has pleaded with burglars to “do the decent thing” and return a prized trophy stolen during a break-in at the town centre restaurant, writes Dan Owens.
Thieves broke in to Saffron in Castilian Street, Northampton in the early hours of Friday, January 11, making off with thousands of pounds worth of alcohol, electrical goods and the Tiffin Cup – a prized crystal trophy won by the restaurant in 2016.
The restaurant is now offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to its safe return.
The Tiffin Cup is an annual competition run by the House of Commons to honour the UK’s best South Asian cuisine. It is awarded by the Tiffin Club of MPs, formed in 2006.
Saffron became the first Northampton restaurant to ever win the competition and the trophy has taken pride of place in the restaurant ever since.
Owner Naz Islam said: “It is absolutely devastating. We worked incredibly hard to bring the trophy back to Northampton, it was an honour not just for us, but the whole town.
“To have it snatched away from us is sickening. The burglars may think they’ve stolen a nice piece of crystal but in reality they have stolen so much more than that. They have stolen our memories and robbed us of the reward for our team’s work over the years.
“I would urge them to do the decent thing and give it back. It’s worth so much more to us than it is to them. We are offering a £1,000 reward for its safe return, no questions asked.”
Saffron was presented with the trophy during a reception at 10 Downing Street and staff were also given a formal reception at the Guildhall with the Mayor of Northampton in recognition of their triumph.
The break-in was captured on the restaurant’s CCTV system and detectives from Northamptonshire Police are now investigating.
It is the latest in a series of break-ins at town centre retailers in recent months and Mr Islam has called on police to do more to protect businesses and bring the offenders to justice.
He said: “We feel vulnerable. We want to see more police on the streets and we want to see those responsible apprehended and punished. At the minute it feels as though not enough is being done to support businesses and reassure us that these types of crime are being taken seriously.”
Saffron remains open for business as normal.