“This kid is a proper little terror”
A joke shop owner in Blackpool has said she’s constantly “on edge” after being terrorised by a group of kids for months.
Samantha Harper owns Drummer’s House of Jokes on Central Drive. The popular joke shop has stood the test of time in Blackpool since it opened in 1978.
But Samantha says what she’s dealing with now, is unlike anything she’s experienced in her entire career.
During the height of the season, Samantha says she started to get frequent visit from a particular young boy “causing trouble”. The young lad has been accused of taunting and terrorising Samantha and her handful of staff at the store and has even stolen multiple things over the months.
The business owner says while she’s not stranger to random acts of anti social behaviour, this one feels more targeted. Samantha claims the same young lad, with a handful of different companions has been causing havoc in her store since early summer this year.
“It was all summer, during the school holidays he was coming in, nicking random stuff off the counter and just walking out on to the prom like it was his right,” Samantha said. “We’ve had kids all over, through the decades we’ve always had some little troublemakers but it’s just kids stuff. This kid is a proper little terror.
“Every business owner has people who walk out with stuff off the counter without paying but this is a proper terror, he terrorises you first before he robs you.”
The incidents spanning from the summer months until now, have all been relatively the same according to Samantha. She claims the boy will enter the over 18’s adult section of the shop, knowing staff will have to come and escort him away.
The shop owner adds that he then opts to use this moment to jump onto the counters, steal items and walks out of the shop “without a care”. Many of the items taken while small and not very expensive have still sparked anxiety within Samantha and her staff.
“He’s taunting you for a start and now he’s taken it one step further by jumping on the glass counters and it’s not just him as well it’s his little posse that he’s got with him. You can’t even do anything about it because your hands are tied, you can’t get him by the scruff of the neck and chuck him out.
“It knocks me sick really, it puts me on edge and makes me dread coming into work knowing he could walk in any time. When I’m off, I’m not able to have a good day off because I’ll be on edge wondering what’s going on- he could turn up when I’m not here.”
Samantha claims over the time, he and his group have stolen hats, balaclavas and fireworks. The shop owner adds she can recount around ten incidents when he’s been in, taunted her staff and walked out.
“He’s probably the worst I’ve dealt with I’d say especially the longevity of it. We’ve never had anybody the same, they’ve always been a one off.”
A Blackpool Council spokesperson said: “It is vitally important that the Police are contacted if crimes are being committed. Business owners and residents do not need to tolerate anti-social behaviour. They need to report it to ourselves and the Police so we can take appropriate action.”
- 11:36, 23 OCT 2022