A MAN has been charged after causing "tens of thousands" of pounds of damage by smashing seven shop windows on Cinderford High Street this week.
Two shops in the town centre, The Real Deal and The Original Factory Shop, were affected by the incident which happened in the early hours of Monday morning (November 6).
Thomas Archer, 27 and of no fixed address, has now been charged with criminal damage following police enquiries.
All of the large windows of both shop fronts, seven panes in total, were left with large bullseye breaks right in the centre, and one window of The Original Factory Shop had to be boarded up.
Police tape covered the scene on Monday and the shops were closed while the damage was assessed.
The Original Factory Shop was able to reopen later on Monday.
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Police said: “Thomas Archer, aged 27 of no fixed address, has been charged with two counts of criminal damage.
“The charges relate to an incident on Cinderford High Street at around 12.15am on 6 November where two shops were found with multiple windows damaged.”
Archer was remanded in custody and was due to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates Court yesterday (Tuesday, November 7).
The Original Factory Shop posted to the Shop Cinderford Facebook page on Monday: “Sorry for the inconvenience, we will be shut temporarily until our shop is ready for business.
“We hope you take this time to support us while we get back up and running!
“We won’t let one individual spoil our high street! So when our doors open back up, we will open with welcoming arms”.
One person commented: “What is happening to this town, disgusting. Hope you get your business open soon”.
Some suggested that footage of the incident would have been captured by one of the town council cameras at the Triangle.
Another tied the incident in with ongoing issues of anti-social behaviour which the town has suffered from in recent years.
They commented: “These shops could just throw in the towel and shut shop.
“Anti social behaviour is rife in the town. The police we pay for are not doing their job or not affective and their approach of monitoring doesn’t work. They need to take a hard line and prosecute even low level crime.
“I’ve lived in this town all my life and I’m really sorry to say this town has gone to the dogs.”
The owners of The Real Deal posted: “We would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding after every window of The Real Deal was smashed along with our neighbours in the Factory Shop.
“Tens of thousands of damage done not to mention revenue lost due to being closed.
“We are currently looking for the best solution so we can keep on trading and really will appreciate your ongoing support while we weather yet another storm.”