A TOWN centre trader was left devastated after his shop was targeted by thieves.

Cliff Ottley-Thistlethwaite, owner of Ink Xperts on Yorke Street, moved his business from Rhosddu to Wrexham town centre in September.

He was woken yesterday morning by a call from his high street neighbour who told him his shop had been raided.

Four laptops and two computer tablets had been stolen with an estimated value of £2,500.

Mr Ottley-Thistlethwaite said: “I’m really upset. I’ve put my whole life’s savings into this place and, financially, it’s been a really tough time to do so.

“But I’ve always felt safe and secure here because there’s CCTV at the front and back of the shop and I haven’t heard of anything like this happening on this street for years.

“I know a few of my neighbours have suffered break-ins before but not for about six years.”

When Mr Ottley-Thistlethwaite arrived he found a hole in his front door where a paving slab had been used to smash the glass.

He believes the attack was carefully planned and the thieves knew exactly what they wanted because the till, a charity donations box and a wall display covered with valuable ink cartridges were not taken.

He said: “It hasn’t just been a case of smash and grab, I suspect it was
professionals or at least pre-planned.”

He added: “Factories are making huge redundancies, shops are closing all the time and most small businesses are really struggling. I’m just trying to encourage local business in Wrexham, but then this happens.”

North Wales Police were called to the shop just after 7.30am yesterday and confirmed a paving slab had been used to gain entry into the shop and that a number of computers had been stolen.

A police spokesman said: “Anyone with information can call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Mr Ottley-Thistlethwaite added: “Someone must know something and I hope they will come forward and help the police catch whoever did this.”