THIEVES have stolen copper piping from a million pound Chinese restaurant in Wigan.
It is the fourth time the business has been targeted in 18 months, owners say.
CCTV footage taken at the Shanghai Palace, in Poolstock, captures two men smashing up the air conditioning unit and swiping copper piping - the damage was only noticed a day later when staff went to switch the unit on.
Restaurant bosses say in the last 18 months, there have been three other break-ins which also caused damage inside the elaborately-decorated restaurant.
Owner Joe Farley said: “We feel like people are trying to sabotage our business. It’s not the best time in the current economic climate right now and we don’t need this kind of thing.
“We have had three break-ins since we have been here and now this has happened. We can’t afford to continue if this keeps going on.
“We didn’t report the other incidents, just installed CCTV and now this is the last straw. Staff noticed that the air conditioning wasn’t working on Thursday, May 12 when they went to put it on, so we think it might have happened on the Wednesday before.
“We’re not sure who has done it but we do have the footage to look at, we don’t think a rival business would do this as there is nobody nearby, it is possibly just petty thieves.”
It is estimated that the cost of repair work at the restaurant, which was formerly the Beer Engine pub, will be more than £2,000.
Joe added: “It’s absolutely dreadful that this has happened, the people of Wigan seem to enjoy using our restaurant but things like this cause a massive inconvenience to our business.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a report of criminal damage had been made.
A spokesman said: “Just before 10pm on Thursday, May 12, police were called to an address at Poolstock following reports that copper piping had been stolen. Inquiries are ongoing.”