Lion Street break-in

22a Lion Sreeet

A night-time burglary at 22a Lion Street netted thieves £30,000 worth of luxury goods, mainly handbags with fashion design labels including Chanel, Gucci, Hermes and Christian Dior.

The break-in occurred at 12:45am on Sunday morning, June 7 as recorded on CCTV in the shop. The owner Emma Pinfold said that a padlocked gate onto the street had been opened with bolt-cutters and the shop door forced open with a jemmy or crowbar and kicked in. The noise of banging awakened a neighbouring shop-owner who rang the police, but in the time it took for them to arrive from Hastings, the burglars had filled a duvet sack with goods and fled. On their way, they dropped a shoe and a trainer in the high street.

At the scene that morning, a forensic expert on the civilian police staff from Eastbourne was searching for evidence. He applied a black gel-covered sheet to the door surfaces, hoping to detect fingerprints, footmarks or glove marks, anything with a textured finish. The CCTV cameras showed two persons involved, but heavily masked, hooded and gloved, making identification difficult. They clearly knew exactly which goods to go for.

Emma Pinfold (l) with Angela Bunyan

Emma Pinfold owns two other shops under the trading name Bond Street to your Street, one in Tenterden and the other in Cranbrook. She shares the Rye one with Angela Bunyan, who runs Room Seven Interiors, an interior furnishings business. Asked how soon those expensive fashion accessories will be restocked and for sale, Emma replied that that depends on how quickly insurers will settle the claim.

Emma Pinfold is not new to burglaries. Her Tenterden high street shop was broken into in February last year, 2020. Items stolen then included bags by Prada and Chanel with other items, totalling £20,000. As she told me, it is no wonder that insurers insist on high tech surveillance equipment. Police no doubt hope that its evidence in this case could lead to the recovery of the stolen goods.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


  1. Sometimes remote police presence seems a lot like no police presence. I wonder whether that might generate more investigative work for the police to do in the long run, and therefore more cost compared with having a locally resident police officer?

  2. Very sorry to read this. It enforces ( yet is ignored ) that Rye needs a police presence. I reported the attempted break-in to the storage properties of a well known Rye resident. That was about 6 weeks ago at between 1 and 1.30am. I called 999 as the thief ran off down the train tracks. I was informed the police would attend. They did not. Six weeks later they’ve not even made contact with me. Is anyone lifting a finger to petition our MP that we need our police station open and at least one person on duty ? We have to stop pretending Rye is still living in the past of E.F. Benson and it’s all sweet and quaint. It’s not. There’s crime. And the police have to come from Hastings or Eastbourne. What use is that in an emergency ?

  3. Last year there was an attempted murder in the high street at about 4pm. I called the police and told they were on their way but they never turned up! I reported all this at the time and months later told the police commissioner would call me about this……….never happened. When my shop opened during the lockdown for private viewings within no time 2 police women turned up and told me to close or I would be fined!


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