THIS is the shocking moment thugs used a car to try and blast their way into a Southsea computer store.
Three men, in what is believed to be a Nissan Qashqai, attempted to smash their way through the front window of Acronym Computers, in Southsea, at about 3.17am on Friday morning.
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 Winter Road shop, the thieves fled, empty-handed.
Speaking to The News today, the business’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 on Monday.
The businessman said no customers’ computers had been taken and apologised for any delays people may experience in getting their equipment back.
He added: ‘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 you 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.’
He added that despite the problems caused by the botched break-in the community of Winter Road had rallied to support it.
‘The support from all the community, local shops, our customers, has been heartwarming,’ Mr Sirokh added.
‘We had people offering us heaters because the cold kept coming in.
‘It does restore your faith in humanity.’
Police are now investigating the incident and are appealing for any witnesses, or people with CCTV footage in the street, to call 101.
The businesses is the latest in a string of others across Southsea to have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks.
As previously reported in The News, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has urged prime minster Theresa May to step in and address the situation.
The PM pledged to meet with business owners who had been blighted by crime.