Designer clothes stolen in early raid on Clifton shop Mele
THIEVES made away with designer clothes worth £40,000 in an early morning raid on a Clifton shop.
Boutique Mele, in The Mall, was targeted by hooded criminals at 4.23am yesterday in a smash and grab burglary.
Caught on the shop's CCTV, two people yanked the metal shutters open with a crowbar and smashed through the double-glazed, armoured glass doors.
Once inside the raiders went straight for a rail of designer Italian clothing worth tens of thousands of pounds at retail value. A van was waiting outside as the robbers fled, according to shop owner Lee Purnell, who has passed the CCTV footage to police.
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Mr Purnell, 41, who has had the shop for eight years, said the stock was very exclusive and some of it is irreplaceable.
"We order them in a year in advance so we're going to have to call around to other stores to try and replenish the supplies.
"We never had any trouble before but since we started getting the bigger brands in I have noticed a few different people coming in.
"We are still a bit shaken up. We just never thought this kind of thing would happen to us."
Police were initially called to the scene after being alerted by neighbours who heard the breaking of glass and a burglar alarm.
Tony Golledge, who owns The Mall Newsagents a few doors up from Mele, told the Post: "We were woken up by the smashing sound. At first I thought our alarm was going off and then we got up and had a look.
"When we got there you could tell somebody had been in and just grabbed stuff and then left – like a smash and grab.
"There have been robberies on the jewellers on this street before but nothing like this since we have been here."
An Avon and Somerset police spokesperson said: "Some of the clothes taken were distinctive and exclusive so we are urging anyone who is offered designer clothes for sale to get in touch."
The police are also appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information should call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.