A Sunderland city centre shop has put up a £2,000 reward in the hope of catching a raider who stole £15,000 worth of stock.
E-cigarette shop Totally Wicked was burgled early yesterday morning, by a thief who even thought to rip out the security system.
Having returned in a vehicle, the offender completely emptied the store, in Athenaeum Street, of vaping devices and chargers, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
The burglary took place shortly after 1am, however, the devastation was discovered by a member of staff opening up the shop at 9am.
Stuart Moore, director of the chain, which has 12 branches across the North East, said despite the CCTV system being stolen, footage was automatically uploaded to remote storage in The Cloud.
Stuart estimates that about £15,000 worth of goods were stolen, and is offering a reward of £2,000 for information, that will lead to the conviction of those responsible.
He smashed the security system and took it with him, but a few second of footage is backed up in the Cloud, so we’ve got thatStuart Moore, director
He is urging any potential witnesses to come forward.
Stuart said: “He’s gone and got a kebab next door, and he’s been walking past.
“He then broke the window and entered the store and got a first look around the store.
“He smashed the security system and took it with him, but a few second of footage is backed up in the Cloud, so we’ve got that.
“He’s only put his hood up when he’s gone in to take that, so police are quite confident they will catch him.
“He then came back in a car, so he must live nearby, and took all the hardware and left behind the liquids.
“He completely wiped us out.
“They clearly knew what they were doing.
“This is the only shop we have that doesn’t have shutters.
“It used to be a jeweller’s before, so has reinforced glass as well.”
The store had only been a Totally Wicked branch for the last four months.
Prior to that it was branded as a different vaping shop, that had been based at the premised for nearly three years.
“We are just devastated,” Stuart added. “It’s really totally shocking, the investment we’ve put into it.
“The shop was a right mess, when the guys turned up this morning.
“There was stuff all over the place.
Stuart is now asking vapers to be vigilant if offered to buy cheap Totally Wicked products, which could have been stolen in the burglary.
“All of our products are branded Totally Wicked and can only be bought from the shops and our website,” he said.
Some empty boxes have been found dumped in Mowbray Park, he added.
The offence is being investigated by British Transport Police, due to its proximity to Sunderland Railway Station.
A spokeswoman said: “The shop was burgled last night just before 1pm and a large number of vaping devices and chargers were stolen.
“A door into the shop was kicked in and the items stolen from the store by an unknown man.
“The man returned with his vehicle at 1.25am and stole further items from the store.
“We are investigating and would appeal for anyone with any information to contact us on 0800 405040 or via text on 61016 quoting reference 89 of 25/8”