High street retailer ‘heartbroken’ after Portsmouth store is burgled to the tune of more than £1,000

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A SHOP owner has lost more than £1,000 worth of stock after a break-in at the weekend.

Funky Baby Boutique in Cosham High Street was broken into on Saturday night, with thieves smashing up the front of the shop and taking whole railings of clothes.

Owner of Funky Baby Boutique Fiona Bennett-Rice, next to the empty rails where stock was stolen from.'Picture: Sarah Standing (180219-9477)

Owner of Funky Baby Boutique Fiona Bennett-Rice, next to the empty rails where stock was stolen from.'Picture: Sarah Standing (180219-9477)

The owner, 53-year-old Fiona Bennett-Rice, says she is devastated about the damage, describing those responsible as the ‘scum of the earth’.

She said: ‘I was at home on Sunday morning and the next door neighbours to the shop messaged me saying something had happened.

‘When I arrived I saw that all the glass was smashed and they had taken more than £1,000 of stock.

‘I absolutely hate thieves and what they do – there’s absolutely no need for it.’

Fiona Bennett-Rice.'Picture: Sarah Standing (180219-9516)

Fiona Bennett-Rice.'Picture: Sarah Standing (180219-9516)

Fiona has built her business up from scratch for nearly five years now, with the burglary being a ‘huge setback’.

She explained: ‘It’s taken me four and a half years to get to where I am now, with no loans or extra funding.

‘I don’t take home a wage, all my earnings go back into the shop, so this is just heartbreaking. I’m chasing a dream with this shop and would love for it to be the success.

‘I’m not giving up. I’m not going to let them beat me.

‘But to see whoever is responsible found and put behind bars would make me very happy.’

A spokesman from Hampshire police said: ‘We are investigating a burglary which took place at the Funky Baby Boutique on Cosham High Street.

‘The incident took place in the early hours of Sunday morning (February 17).

‘A glass door was smashed at the premises, and entry was gained to the shop before a quantity of clothing was stolen from inside.

‘Enquiries are on-going. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 44190057778.’

A JustGiving page has been set up in support of the store - to give Fiona a helping hand go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/funkybaby.