THIEVES smashed their way in through a shop front while at least 60 cars drove past – but no one called the police.
They got away with at least £10,000 worth of stock from Barracuda VAPE, an e-cigarette shop on Newport Road, including large quantities of e-cigarettes, liquids and battery packs.
Using bolt cutters, the raiders broke through the shop’s shutters and smashed through the glass at the front of the building on one of Cardiff’s busiest roads.
Company finance manager, Tracie Powell, explained that waiting for insurance to be paid out has led to reduced staff wages, less stock acquired, and fewer staff hired.
“I am basically gutted because everybody here has worked hard for this and somebody thinks it is their right to take something someone else has worked for,” she said.
“Our CCTV footage showed 60 cars driving past while the crime was taking place. A couple of people even later told us they saw what was happening as they were returning home from shifts at work.
“It is unbelievable that no one even called the police because I thought this was quite a close community.”
Police have also issued a warning about the potential danger to users if the stolen products are sold on the black market.
“If the incorrect battery packs and chargers are used there is a risk of the e-cigarettes exploding and causing serious injury to the user,” said Police Constable David Johnson from Rumney police station in a statement on Sunday.
Customer service representative Sam Heffernan added: “The thieves are probably going to sell people our high-end gear with batteries designed for other products. That is unsafe.”
Despite the raid, which took place at 4am on Sunday, the shop was reopened while the damage was cleared up.
Although there was shattered glass on the floor and the shutters would only rise up to shoulder height, staff continued to serve customers through the door and outside.
“I am shocked and angered. But we just have to get on with it now,” said Ms Evans.
Anyone with any information about the burglary is asked to contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 and quote reference 1600025806.