The owner of a family-run business has spoken of his devastation after thieves broke in to his store and made off with a number of high value items.

Derwent and Tracey Walsh run Babygear, based in the old school building off Gundry Lane, Bridport, and were shocked to return to work on Monday morning to find it had been burgled over the weekend.

Mr Walsh said: “We arrived to open up and found the door badly damaged and items missing inside. My wife was in tears and we were devastated. The feeling of someone wandering around in there in a distressing feeling.

“What people don’t realise is that for us to get new items delivered could take months. If we can’t sell someone what they need we can’t pay the rent or wages. We can’t get that back. Some items could take a long time to be delivered and that’s now the big worry.”

The store, which sells baby items such as prams, nursery furniture and clothing, has been trading in the town for 34 years and is well-known in the community.

Mr Walsh said: “We have had an amazing response from the public. It makes you feel people are on your side, as when you first walk in and see the damage you feel you are on your own; that’s devastating.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of everyone and the police responded very well. We were very upset and the officers were very caring.”

Dorset Police confirmed they were called to Babygear shortly before 9am on Monday morning to reports of a burglary.

A spokesman for the force said: “ It was reported to have occurred between 4pm on Saturday, November 3, and 8.55am on Monday, November 5.

“Entry has been forced to the premises and a number of high value items have been stolen.

“Officers have attended the address and are carrying out a number of enquiries, including a review of CCTV footage and crime scene examinations.”

No arrests have been made at this stage, the spokesman added.