Brazen thieves ransacked a Wolverhampton business and made off with £6,000 of stock after breaking in by sawing a 12-inch wide hole through the floorboards of the shop.
The burglars struck at Puff In Peace in Chapel Ash in a daring raid that saw them take off with thousands of pounds worth of electric cigarette supplies and around £800 in cash.
It’s understood the crooks gained access to the cellar then sawed a hole through the floor before clambering into the building and taking the stock.
Stunned bosses arrived the next day to find a gaping hole around 12-inches in diameter in their floor and the safe missing.
Mike Hannah, aged 37, who is a manager at the Wolverhampton branch said the theft has left a lasting affect on him.
He said: “I walked through the door and saw refills of the electronic cigarettes on the floor and the till open. It looks like they have got into the cellar through a fire exit then sawn through the floorboards and got into the shop.
“From where the hole was located, the suspicions are that the people who have done it have been in the shop before. If it had been a few inches either side they wouldn’t have got in.
“The safe has gone along with around £6,000 worth of stock. I feel the same as anyone else would in this situation it feels intrusive and it doesn’t feel the same shop when I work there. Shops are closing down and we’re here as an independent business and someone goes and does something like this.”
Gina Lycett, a spokeswoman for West Midlands Police, said: “We can confirm that we are investigating a burglary at Puff In Peace at Chapel Ash.
“We believe the burglary happened overnight on Wednesday March 6 between 6pm and 9.30am the next morning.
“A quantity of electronic cigarette kits and accessories were stolen in the burglary
“We are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious or who may have been offered electronic cigarette kits cheaply and feel that this was suspicious to call us on 101. Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”