THE owner of a sweet shop has told of his devastation after more than £650 was stolen in a break-in.
Hilborne sweet shop in Albert Road in Southsea, was broken into and about £80 was taken from the till and the safe was stolen with takings totalling £650.
Now, owner Kevin Warne has found out his insurance company won’t pay out because the slatted windows at the front of the shop invalidate his policy.
The burglars got in by sliding out the glass.
Mr Warne said: ‘I’m gutted. That amount of money is two-and-a-half months of gross profit for us. It will take us months to bounce back from it.
‘The whole ordeal will cost us £2,000.
‘It’s our life. I have been completely torn apart and let down by the big companies when we most needed them.’
Mr Warne is going to put metal bars at the front window to prevent another burglary.
The shop has been open for two-and-a-half years and has become popular.
‘We’ve had a massive response,’ Mr Warne added.
‘It’s a popular shop. It’s very community based. We have got to cut back and struggle over the next few months.
‘Fortunately we have got Christmas on our side.
‘We do live hand to mouth because it’s a very small profit in a sweet shop.
‘That £650 would have enabled us to spend extra money on stock to keep ourselves processing.’
Now, Mr Warne is hoping the public can help track down those responsible for the burglary, which happened at the weekend.
‘We are appealing for witnesses,’ he said.
‘If there’s anybody who has seen anything, please come forward. We want to catch these people. We’re in a situation where we can’t fall back on our insurance company.
‘We haven’t got a penny from it and we just want justice.’
The burglary happened sometime between 7pm on Saturday and 9.30am on Sunday. No arrests have been made.
Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Fratton police station by phoning 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.