WATCH: Brazen thieves try to smash through Southsea shop in car during city raid

Erin Edwards has been given a two-year suspended sentence

‘We feel that our trust has been utterly betrayed’

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THIS is the aftermath of a computer store in Southsea after thugs tried to use a car to blast their way into it.

Three men, in what is believed to be a Nissan Qashqai, attempted to smash their way through the front window of Acronym Computers, on Winter Road, at about 3.17am on Friday morning.

The scene outside Acronym Computers after a botched break-in of the store

The scene outside Acronym Computers after a botched break-in of the store

The trio rammed the shop’s reinforced frontage repeatedly before attempting the rip it open by hand after the car failed to breach the store.

After causing thousands of pounds of damage to the site but being unable to get into the shop, the thieves fled, empty-handed.

The incident has since prompted pleas for action to be taken amid an on-going crimewave in Southsea which has blighted businesses recently.

Speaking to The News, Acronym’s managing director Othman Sirokh said he couldn’t believe what had happened. He said: ‘It was like something out of a movie.

‘They smashed into the front of our shop with a car, hitting it three times, but they couldn’t get through the metal bars.

‘Three white men then got out and used their hands to try and get through the metal.’

The shop is now boarded up, although Mr Sirokh is determined to re-open the site today.

The businessman said no customers’ computers had been taken and apologised for any delays people may experience in getting their equipment back.

He said: ‘We couldn’t believe someone would do this to a small business. We’re just a small business trying to make a living.

‘To see someone trying to take all your belongings and take advantage of the weather is really unbelievable.

‘It’s disheartening. I’m quite a lively character and I try to be helpful. We try to fix people’s problems with a smile and friendly service.

‘Now we have our own problem we can’t give that service with a smile that our customers deserve. It’s harder.’

Mr Sirokh added that despite the problems caused by the botched break-in, the community of Winter Road had rallied to offer support.

‘The support from all the community, local shops, our customers, has been heartwarming,’ he said, ‘We had people offering us heaters because the cold kept coming in.

‘It does restore your faith in humanity.’

Police are investigating the crime and are urging witnesses to call 101, quoting 44180080143, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

The business is the latest in a string across Southsea to have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘I will again be raising the series of crimes affecting our small businesses with ministers this week.’