THIEVES stole a unique wedding dress worth £1,200 in a smash-and-grab raid on a bridal shop.
The burglars struck at David Western Bridal Couture shop in Winter Road, Southsea, smashing their way in through a front window made from reinforced glass.
They then dragged a distinctive black and white floral print three-piece wedding dress, which has a full, black train and is worth about £1,200 through the window – complete with the mannequin used to display it.
Shop owner David Western who ran his shop in Albert Road, Southsea, before setting up shop in Winter Road about four years ago, said the dress he created had been on display for about three weeks before the break-in overnight on Monday.
The 44-year-old said: ‘A friend’s son who is a security guard said he dropped someone off round the corner about 1am and the window was fine.
‘Then I got a call about 7am to say the window had been smashed.
‘It’s the most unique wedding dress going. It’s worth about £1,200 – they even stole the mannequin.
‘They didn’t touch anything else – the jewellery was still there.
‘That particular dress means so much.
‘I created the dress in four days and worked with a hairdresser friend who has just got over breast cancer to style my god-daughter Georgia for the photoshoot.’
The burglary comes almost exactly two years after thieves stole designer jewellery from the store after using a small stone to smash a hole in another window.
‘On that occasion they fled with jewellery designed by Charlotte Cornelius worth about £1,700, including two rings, two necklaces and a bracelet.
The display had been laid out for Valentine’s Day only two days before the theft happened.
Mr Western added: ‘You can’t let things like this put you off but it’s disappointing when you are trying to make a living. I’m gutted.
‘In a way I suppose it’s a compliment – whoever did it obviously loved the dress so much they had to have it, but I would feel sorry if some poor girl ends up wearing it and doesn’t know it’s stolen.’
Hampshire Constabulary has asked anyone with information to call 0845 0454545 or 101 quoting crime reference number 44110024179.
Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.