Â£5,000 reward offered after latest raid on Sunderland e-cig store
A Sunderland shop has put up a Â£5,000 reward after the store was targeted by thieves for the second time in less than three months.
In August, Totally Wicket e-cigarette shop was hit by raiders who stole £15,000 worth of stock and left a trail of destruction.
Now, the same store in Athenaeum Street, has been raided again this week with a similar amount of goods, including vaping devices and chargers, taken.
Matt Wallace, manager at the shop, discovered the break-in on Tuesday morning when he turned up for work.
He said: “The window had been smashed through and they had gone in and stolen all of the stock.
“They haven’t caused as much damage to the shop as last time, but I would say about the same amount has been taken.
“I think it has been a case of get in and grab as much as they could before making off.”
An upset Matt said the shop will have to close for a short time after the latest raid.
He said: “It makes you feel a lot less safe to be honest. It feels as if nothing is sacred.”
Owner of the store, Stuart Moore, said he is putting a reward of £5,000 up in a bid to catch the culprits.
Stuart, director of the Totally Wicked chain, which has 12 branches across the North East, said the footage from the CCTV will have automatically uploaded to remote storage in The Cloud so he will be able to hand it over to police.
The offence, which is believed to have taken place at about 1.30am on Tuesday, is being investigated by British Transport Police, due to its proximity to Sunderland Railway Station.
A spokeswoman for the force said at the moment they are not linking the two raids on Totally Wicked.
She said there were some arrests made following the initial burglary, but no-one was charged, so they are appealing for information on both crimes.
The spokeswoman said: “It is possible that there were some witnesses in the area and would urge them to come forward.”
Anyone with information about the raids or the whereabouts of the stolen goods is urged to contact the British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or via text on 61016 quoting reference 147 of 08/11.