THE chief executive of a greetings card chain has called for action following five break-ins at its Bolton shop over the past 12 months.

In the latest targeted burglary, the glass shopfront of Clintons in Market Street was smashed to pieces by offenders who broke their way inside.

Boards were temporarily installed in place of the windows until the glass could be replaced.

CEO of Clintons, Eddie Shepherd, has called for Bolton Council and Greater Manchester Police to take action to increase safety in the high street and to prevent further burglaries.

He described this recent incident as the latest in a string of attempted burglaries, vandalism and criminal damage to the shop, which have set the company back by more than £50,000.

These raids come at a time when the card chain is considering shop closures and rent cuts as part of a survival plan.

Clintons has told landlords that it needs to close 66 shops and cut the rent on hundreds more, the Sunday Times has reported

Mr Shepherd said: “Following yet another break-in, our Bolton store window has currently been boarded up. However, thanks to the hard work of our staff, the store continues to operate as usual.

“This is the latest in a string of attempted burglaries and acts of vandalism, now totalling five in the last year alone and 13 since December 2015.

“They have caused significant disruption for our staff, customers and general store operations, with the damages incurred totalling over £50,000.

“In the interests of both the general public and local business community, we would urge both the local police and the council to take much needed action to tackle this persistent issue.”

Bolton Council said they are committed to reducing anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “This was an understandably distressing incident and our sympathy is with the business owners.

“We are committed to reducing anti-social behaviour and making the town centre a more welcoming and safer place to visit.

“This is a serious crime and a matter for Greater Manchester Police to investigate.”

The Bolton News has approached the police for comment.