A DISTRAUGHT pensioner has been left heartbroken after seeing his 36-year livelihood vanish overnight when stock worth £40,000 was stolen from his shop.
Alan Stephens arrived to open up his Alcester Sports and Tackle store at 9am on Wednesday morning to find it vandalised and ransacked.
Among the items taken were shotguns and guns in for repair, plus a shotgun Alan had owned since he was a young man.
“There were liquids sprayed up the door-frame and the locks had been taken off,” he said. “After opening the door and rolling the shutters back I was faced with absolute mayhem.”
Thieves also stole hooks, line, rods, poles, seat boxes and luggage during the raid, stripping Alan of his livelihood – and pension.
A further £800 in cash was also taken.
“I am finished, I will not recover from this,” he said. “At 72 my life is here in this shop – it’s 36 years of hard work gone.”
Alan, who was born in Redditch but has lived in Alcester for the last eight years, has owned the premises on Tything Road on the Arden Industrial Estate for the last six-and-a-half-years.
“This has ruined my life. For the rest of it, well what have I got left?”
Security cameras show a white Ford transit van entering the yard at around 10.35pm on Tuesday evening before the alarm was activated at 11.15pm.
An engineer has also confirmed the electricity was turned off at 1.45am – presumably when the thieves left the premises.
By spraying bait liquid on the doorframe the thieves also prevented police from collecting fingerprints.
“They sprayed water everywhere, filled the till and left the sink to overflow.
“It was such a busy shop with a lovely regular customer base.
“I’ll have nothing left by the time I’ve paid the creditors – they’ve wiped me out.”
Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, quoting incident number 95 of July 8.