A SOUTHAMPTON coffee shop chain is set to go cashless after 15 break-ins in just over five years.

Fom June, 1 Mettricks will be going 100% cashless.

It comes after the shop has had a history of break-ins, which it reports have been “highly costly” both financially and emotionally to the business and its staff.

The last break in happened only two weeks ago when thieves pried open the back doors of Mettricks Guildhall using a hammer.

They stole a safe containing £2,017, a laptop, tips and personal possessions belonging to staff.

There was another break-in at the same branch on Boxing Day as well as two unsuccessful attempts since then. Its Woolston branch has fared no better with three break-ins since the New Year.

Despite the number of incidents, the business said that the vast majority customers already prefer to pay via card or smart device, and overall it is a faster, more reliable, environmentally friendly and a safer way to process transactions.

The chain which has been owned by Coffee Lab since November 2018 said that by removing cash, the main target of the break-ins, it hopes to reduce and “eradicate” the risk of further incidents in the future.

Mettricks claims that managing cash is a highly time-consuming task, and by introducing contactless will allow the business to refocus its time on the customer.

Operations manager for Mettricks and Coffee Lab, Dom Ormsby, said: “I’ve lost count of the times we’ve been broken into but I think it’s at least 15 break-ins over 5.5 years.

“We have had to deal with stolen cash floats, till damage, window boarding, extra man-hours dealing with them. The cost averages about £1,000 each time plus another £1,000 to £2,000 for repairing windows properly. Factoring in large amounts of takings stolen on two occasions, I’d say we’re looking at a total of £30,000 to £35,000 lost due to break-ins.”

Area manager for the company, Reece Comberbach, said: “Mettricks has experienced an incredibly high frequency of break-ins in its relatively short history. The financial impact is very high, but there is n emotional impact on our staff also. These incidents are upsetting and unsettling for our staff and inconvenient for our customers.

“This is one of many reasons among wanting to be progressive and environmentally friendly why we have decided to go 100% cashless We hope that our customers will be understanding and continue to show their much-valued support.”