By Jennifer Mulcahey

BUSINESS owners have been left devastated after thieves broke into several nearby premises in just three days.

Police are investigating a spate of break-ins at St Michael’s Trading Estate in Bridport.

Between Monday, October 16 and Friday, October 20 three businesses were targeted on the estate – one was broken into twice.

Tracy Caden own Salvage Style and says she has been left feeling vulnerable after thieves broke two doors to gain entry to her shop and ‘helped themselves as though they had a shopping list.’

Mrs Caden said: “Someone has come into my shop and taken stuff that does not belong to them. It makes you feel vulnerable, especially now the nights are getting darker. I work really hard and now someone has come in and just taken my stuff.”

Thieves made off from Salvage Style with a laptop and jewellery display case, amongst other items.

Mrs Caden said: “They’ve helped themselves to the most obscure things – it sounds ridiculous, but I had some Spitting Image puppets and they’ve stolen William Hague but left Neil Kinnock behind. It’s almost like they had a shopping list. They’ve taken about £700 worth of goods.

“Whoever did this is obviously very unhappy with their life. They appeared very amateur as they used a rusty spade and a hacksaw to break the locks and left the lights on.”

Mrs Caden praised police officers for their support and says traders are pulling together.

“The police have been great,” she said. “They turned up immediately and have been so supportive. They’ve been fabulous. All of the traders are very supportive of each other. My husband has been keeping an eye on the estate at night.”

Another business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, was targeted twice in three days.

On October 16, an empty safe was stolen from their premises, but thieves returned two days later and ‘cherry-picked quite a lot.”

The business owner said: “The second time they broke in they cherry-picked quite a lot. The reality is only just sinking in and it’s affecting me more this week. In eight years this has never happened and you don’t imagine it happening.

“We’ve all been supportive of each other and it’s good to have others to talk to. It’s hard to know what to do but we will soldier on.”

Three lorries at West Country Cleaning and Waste parked up for the weekend on Friday, October 20. Some time over the weekend, fuel caps were removed from each lorry and diesel was taken from each tank.

A spokesman for Dorset Police confirmed they were looking in to each incident and said that no arrests have been made.

They said: “Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team have re-visited the addresses to offer crime prevention advice and guidance to the businesses and unit owners.

“We are liaising with business and carrying out enquiries. A full investigation is underway into these offences and anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious or knows who is responsible, is asked to contact Dorset Police via email or call 101.”