Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Vape Shop Owner Devastated after Thieves Take Everything; Intricate Plot Saw Hole Drilled in Wall Leading to Store's Back Room

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Vape Shop Owner Devastated after Thieves Take Everything; Intricate Plot Saw Hole Drilled in Wall Leading to Store's Back Room

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter sonia.sharma@trinitymirror.com

A SHOPKEEPER has told how he lost his life savings after burglars broke into his vape store and stole thousands of pounds' worth of stock.

The thieves got into an empty flat above The Vape Shop, on Prudhoe Street, in North Shields, and used tools to create a large hole in a wall leading to a back room in the store.

They then climbed through the hole, made their way to the front and spent four hours clearing the shelves of items such as e-cigarettes, e-liquids and other vaping accessories.

It is thought they carried the loot in bin bags and climbed back out of the hole, into the upstairs property, before fleeing via a back lane.

Said Ali, who has been running the shop for nine months, said he was heartbroken after the incident, which took place on the night of Friday, November 17.

He said the burglars took between PS10,000 and PS15,000 worth of stock.

To make matters worse, he says he was unable to get insurance for his business as he was told the upstairs flat, belonging to someone else, was unsafe. Mr Ali says he had been making efforts to resolve the issue but to no avail.

The 39-year-old, from Elswick, New-castle, added: "This is a new business. We only opened nine months ago and I put my life savings into the shop.

"But now I have lost everything, it's all gone. It's so, so disheartening, I don't know what to do."

The dad-of-two said he made sure the shop was secure before he left on Friday evening, with the front and back doors locked and the shutters pulled down.

But when he arrived to open up on Saturday morning, he was shocked to see all his shelves empty and some products and boxes strewn across the floor.

He went to the back and saw a hole in the ceiling and a larger hole in the wall. …

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