A shop manager says he is determined to not let burglars beat him after they ransacked his shop and stole more than £12,000 worth of stock.
Chris Mitchell says he was left heartbroken when the thieves got into his premises, Wow vape shop on Castleford’s Carlton Street, overnight on August 17/18.
They broke into the building from the roof, dismantling CCTV cameras as they went so not to be detected.
They accessed the front of the shop by prising an internal door open with a crowbar.
Mr Mitchell, a 35-year-old father-of-two, said: “I had been on my way into work when I got a phone call from the shop next door saying some of our stock was outside.
“I got there as quick as I could and as I opened the shutters I could see it had been ransacked, they had just wrecked the place.”
Mr Mitchell has been working at the shop for 18 months, but has been invovled with the growing vape market for the last six years, having worked at various shops.
The alternative to smoking has proved lucrative in recent years with millions of people in the UK ditching their cigarettes.
High-powered electronic devices can cost upwards of £50, which is what the thieves targeted.
“They mainly took hardware, handset devices - they 100 per cent knew what they were looking for,” added Mr Mitchell.
“Over the last couple of years there’s been a lot of shops hit, because it’s big business these days.
“It was just complete shock and devastation.
“I’m just furious because we have worked really hard to build it up and get it to where we have.”
Initial thoughts were that more than £15,000 had been taken, but the final figure came in at around £12,000.
But rather than dwell on the losses, once the police had visited the shop and taken details and dusted for finger prints, Mr Mitchell reopened that day.
“We lost a lot of takings that morning as well, but we’re not going to let is beat us.”
Police confirmed that a 21-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident and has since been released.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference 13180410712.