The owner of a small Littlehampton business was left ‘devastated’ after his shop was broken into during the early hours of Thursday morning (February 22).
Mike Ellen, who owns The Vapour Room, in High Street, Littlehampton, alongside his wife Jamie, said the break-in happened shortly after 12.30am.
He rushed down to the shop to find a side window had been smashed and a number of items inside had been stolen.
He said: “We are devastated. It is a small business and now we are going to have to pay a large amount of money to have the window fixed. As well as that, our insurance premium is going to go up.
“The window has been totally smashed and the thugs have been emptied out an entire cabinet of stock from the front of the shop.”
Mr Ellen was alerted to the break-in via a security system that sends him a text whenever the alarm is sounded.
When he arrived on the scene he was surprised to find police had already arrived.
He added: “The police were brilliant. They were in the area responding to another call and noticed the alarm going off.
“They were down here with me until 5.30 this morning and have taken a look at the CCTV footage.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said a 30-year-old man from Rustington, believed to have been involved, has since been arrested on suspicion of burglary with intent to steal. He is currently in police custody while enquiries continue.
Mr Ellen, who had had no previous problems since he took over the shop in October 2016, was forced to close The Vapour Room today but hopes to reopen tomorrow (Friday, February 23).
He said: “We have had a couple of people come in today and say they are sad to see what happened.
“From the outside, the shop just looks closed which isn’t great for our business.”
Sussex Police have described the suspects as wearing hooded jackets who ran off towards Beach Road.
A police spokesman said: “Anyone who saw what happened or who may have other relevant information is asked to report details online at sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or phone 101, quoting serial 26 of 22/02.
“Alternatively, please visit the Crimestoppers website, www.crimestoppers-uk.org or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”