A BUSINESSMAN’S dream has been left in tatters after thieves snatched £15,000 of goods from his new store.
Heartbroken Ian Hughes now fears for the future of his shop, which he worked for 10 years to open.
Crooks smashed their way into Sanctuary Bikes, in Shiney Row, in a late-night raid.
The thieves trashed the shop before stealing a series of rare and expensive bikes, clothing and other cycling goods.
Now Ian, of Penshaw, is worried about whether his three-month-old business can survive.
“When I went inside and saw all that devastation it was paralysing,” said the 32-year-old.
“It knocked me for six and took a while to sink in. They’ve taken pretty much everything.
“It’s a massive knock-back for the business and is going to put a huge amount of pressure on it.”
He added: “I employ two members of staff and have wages to pay, so there’s a huge amount of pressure on me now.”
Ian set up shop after moving back home following eight years working near London.
“It has been my goal in life for about 10 years to get a bike shop up and running,” he said. “And then for this to happen is a massive shock and is quite traumatic.”
Ian said the thieves smashed their way through the shutters at the back of the Grangewood Court store, before ransacking inside.
They tore the CCTV monitor off the wall, smashed up the till and made off with a series of mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, BMXs and clothing.
“I came in and found stuff strewn all over the shop,” said Ian, who makes some of the bikes he sells.
“I think they might have been spooked because they left some things.
“Some of the bikes are of very high value.”
Police have launched an investigation into the burglary, which took place between 6pm on Tuesday and 9am on Wednesday,
One of the bikes was a Scott Voltage FR10 2011 model, which Ian said is the only one in the region.
He is urging anyone who is offered the bike for sale to contact police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Houghton police on 101, extension 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.