Popular Spoilt Gelato owner left £600 out of pocket after one-year anniversary theft

Joint owner of Spoilt Gelato Pajwa Mo (on right) with his daughter Laiqa(9) and joint owner Khuram Jahangir outside Spoilt Gelato in Starbeck.(1607253AM1)

Joint owner of Spoilt Gelato Pajwa Mo (on right) with his daughter Laiqa(9) and joint owner Khuram Jahangir outside Spoilt Gelato in Starbeck.(1607253AM1)

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A much-loved independent business owner was left £600 out of pocket after thieves smashed their way into his shop on the evening of their one-year anniversary.

Pajwa Mo left his Spoilt Gelato shop on Starbeck High Street after a grueling 15-hour day in the early hours of Sunday, November 20.

However, when he returned at 9am to open the shop and set up celebratory decorations, he discovered that money had been stolen from both tills, with plates smashed on the floor.

Pajwa estimated that more than £200 had been stolen in cash with further funds needed to cover damage to the till system, the marquee and the smashed plates.

Despite his immediate disappointment, Pajwa said he was determined to uphold his half price anniversary offer for his loyal customers.

He said: “On Saturday we closed up at 11 but I was here until about 12.45am because we had a power cut and we couldn’t get the alarm to set.

“Sadly, because of the theft, I didn’t have any time to set up decorations to celebrate. The police did send some people round to inspect everything later but I don’t think we will be getting our money back.”

The Starbeck community rallied round Pajwa in July after he was subjected to a tirade of racial abuse as he stood outside his shop.

Pajwa thanked the many gracious customers who have since come into his shop offering money or help and said he still feels accepted in Harrogate.

He said: “I have had so many people come in and congratulate us on our anniversary so I did not want to ruin it for them just because of a few idiots.

"I have so many people who have been kind to me and I came in for them; they want me to be here.

“It’s not about the money, I just want whoever did it to come back and apologise.”