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VIDEO: Reward on offer after gang smashes up shop


A shop owner has offered a reward after a gang of thieves smashed their way into his store and stole £30,000 worth of designer handbags and jeans.

Corry Cavell-Taylor, who opened Cavells, in Oakham, 30 years ago, said he had decided to offer the reward after watching CCTV footage which shows the thieves taking two hours to smash their way into his shop through a bricked-up air vent.

The gang got away with more than 50 Mulberry bags and a number of designer jeans, including makes such as Armani, when they targeted the Mill Street store in the early hours of last Wednesday.

Mr Cavell-Taylor, 50, said: "It shocked and sickened me to watch that CCTV.

"I am disgusted that these people think they can do what they did and just get away with it.

"I want them caught to be shown that they can't get away with it."

Mr Cavell-Taylor said the raid was the third break-in over a seven-month period in which stock worth £70,000 had been stolen – despite two upgrades in security.

He had bars put on the windows after thieves raided the shop in November 2012.

"During that break-in, the thieves smashed their way through a wall and took designer jeans worth £25,000," said Mr Cavell-Taylor.

The store was raided again at Christmas and thieves stole jeans and Mulberry bags worth £15,000.

"On that occasion, the thieves used hydraulic jacks to dislodge heavy metal bars we had put up at the windows," said the shop owner.

Following that raid, Mr Cavell-Taylor had infra-red CCTV cameras fitted.

He said the recent series of raids were the first the company had suffered since being set up three decades ago.

"We have been trading happily in Oakham for 30 years, then we get hit like this," he said.

"I have no doubt that we have been singled out by a gang who are deliberately targeting us.

"I am sure we are not the only shop being hit by these people because they are so professional.

"Once they had taken two hours to break in this time, they got way with the stock in a matter of minutes."

Mr Cavell-Taylor said his family had started an animal feed business in Mill Street in 1895.

He said: "I am the fourth generation of our family trading in Oakham and I want to carry on, but this is making life very difficult.

"Our insurance premiums are through the roof and losing this amount of stock is a real setback. It's sickening really.

"We have had professional security firms in and done exactly what they have told us to keep the thieves out but still they get in.

"It is very dispiriting, but we carry on."

After two hours of smashing away with crowbars, the raiders finally broke into the shop at 2.45am on Wednesday, triggering the alarm.

Mr Cavell-Taylor said: "One went in and passed the stock to the other two. They loaded up a getaway car in the car park across the road and left.

"I want anyone who has any information to come forward to help. I want these criminals brought to justice."

He is offering a reward of £1,000.

A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said: "The break-in is being investigated.

"If anyone has any information that could help us in our inquiries then we would like to hear from them."

The police can be contacted on 101.

VIDEO: Reward on offer after gang smashes up shop

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