A TRADER in Penarth who has only been in the town for just over a year says he is facing a dire financial period following a burglary at his premises earlier this month.

Dilawar Sohail, who owns Penarth Mobile Repairs and Vaping on Plassey Street, says he has lost up to £17,000 after three people broke into his building at around 3am on January 15.

Twenty-five devices were stolen, including more than 20 mobile phones and a couple of electric scooters – which amounted to around £7,000. And he says to secure his property to ensure there is no repeat offences will cost another £10,000.

He says it couldn’t have come at a worse time for his business, which he admits he has struggled with due to the impact of the pandemic.

“On the morning of January 15, at around 11am, I got a call from my landlord – who lives upstairs – to say I should come down because he thinks there’s a problem,” Mr Sohail explained.

“He told me the shutters were open and the door looked damaged. I could hardly drive – I was shaking. Most mornings since have been the same. I am constantly worried it’s going to happen again.

“I realised straight away it was quite a professional criminal job. It was as though they knew my shop completely. I’ve asked traders in the area whether this is common, and apparently the last incident was five years ago.”

Mr Sohail says clear CCTV was passed to the police, but they have now closed the case because they could not find enough evidence to track down the perpetrators.

“The police came down for a few minutes in the morning and took some pictures, but I haven’t heard anything since,” he added.

Penarth Times:

“The next few months are looking difficult now. I’ve struggled through lockdown, it’s been dead. We were just about covering the rent.

“At the moment I try and not think about how much stress I’m under. It’s hard. I can’t even replace the lost products because of the financial constraints we’re under.

Penarth Times: Empty shelves after the burglary at the store on Plassey StreetEmpty shelves after the burglary at the store on Plassey Street

“I’d love to be here for a long time, but if this kind of thing happens again soon, then it’s not looking good for me.”

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: “We are investigating a burglary at Penarth Mobile Repair and Vape shop on Plassey Street, Penarth. It happened between the14th January at 7pm and 15th January at 12.10pm where the shop was broken into and a quantity of items were stolen. Officers are appealing to anyone who may have information about this crime to contact them on 101 quoting ref: 2100016319. Alternatively, anyone can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”