A man has been charged with burglary at a Southsea tea factory.
He was arrested on suspicion of stealing more than £500 from the All About Tea shop in Middle Street yesterday.
Andrew Gadsden, the owner of the tea factory, who passed CCTV images to the police, said: ‘I felt violated and we all work very, very hard here.
‘It is difficult to establish a small business.
‘For £500 to go that quickly is extremely damaging.
‘We are going to have to decide what we cut back on.
‘The rent has got to be paid and the staff wages.
‘We have to buy our products for Christmas at the moment. For anyone this is a lot of money.’
It is not the first time the tea factory has had problems with criminal behaviour since it opened last year.
‘We have had a couple of problems,’ Andrew said.
‘Once with someone who came in during the day and conned us out of money. We had some problems with people setting a small fire alight in the back, but it is the first time we have had a proper burglary.’
Andrew was alerted when the property’s alarm was set off just after 8.30am.
He explained: ‘My first thought was that my colleague had not remembered about the clocks changing.
‘My friend works at the King Street Tavern and was walking to work.
‘He called me and said he was outside my shop and there was glass everywhere.’
Andrew arrived to find a smashed pane of glass in his door and the till open with the money that had been left in it overnight was gone.
‘It felt unreal because I was looking at my own shop,’ he said. ‘All our customers are really nice and really friendly.
‘It always has a nice feel to it.
‘In a matter of seconds someone has smashed their way in and grabbed £500.’