Published: 09:59, 02 May 2014
The manager of a Sheppey shop where more than £3,000 of goods and cash was stolen fears it could spell the end of the business.
Island Bait and Tackle, in Halfway Road, Halfway, was targeted by thieves in an overnight raid.
Mick Yates discovered the break-in when he turned up for work the next day and opened the shutters.
He said his first thought was that he was sure he had turned the lights off the previous evening and then he saw the premises had been ransacked.
As well as just more than £500 and the till, the burglars also took between 30 and 40 fishing rods and 25 to 30 reels, which are worth around £3,000 in total.
He said they had cut the cable to the till and took it with them so they could get to the money.
It was found smashed up in the park in nearby Power Station Road by police.
"It's gutting for a little business. I really don't know what we are going to do. It might be the final nail in the coffin..." - Mick Yates
Island Bait and Tackle has been trading on Sheppey for almost 30 years and has been at a couple of different sites before setting up in its current home 11 years ago.
Mr Yates said a break-in of this scale was a huge set-back for a such a small company.
"It's gutting for a little business," he said. "I really don't know what we are going to do.
"It might be the final nail in the coffin. Trade is getting harder and harder, competing with the internet."
He said he is hopeful the intruders may have been caught on the Swale council CCTV cameras in Halfway Road and understands officers are waiting to view the images.
Police confirmed they are investigating the burglary, which happened between 5.25pm last Thursday and 9.05am the next day.
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