A BRADFORD business owner is worried how he is going to provide for his family after burglars stole more than £25,000 worth of stock from his shop and caused at least £7,000 of damage.
Bismillah Phone & Accessories, on James Gate in Bradford city centre, was broken into late on Sunday night, just days before it was set to reopen properly to the public.
Owner, Muhammad Faiz, 32, has been left distraught after the suspects practically wiped out his entire stock, stealing between £25,000 and £30,000 of goods – including iPhones, Samsung phones, iPads and other tablets.
The burglars also caused between £7,000 and £10,000 worth of damage to the shop.
West Yorkshire Police confirmed it is investigating a burglary at the premises, with CCTV enquiries underway.
The shop has been there for roughly 10 years and father-of-five, Mr Faiz, has run it for almost six years now.
It is the first time anything like this has ever happened, he says.
Mr Faiz added: “I’m very, very upset, I’ve got little kids I’m feeding for, a family, everything.
“When somebody rang me and they were saying the shop was broken into, it was coming like a heart attack.
“I was shocked straight away – what can I do now?”
CCTV footage inside and outside the shop captured every moment of the burglary as it unfolded – from the set-up, to the final moments when the suspects give-up on taking the store’s safe and drive off from the scene.
It begins when a van, which has its number plate fully on show, pulls up just outside the shop, at around 8pm when it is still light.
Mr Faiz said: “They first come and then have a look outside and it’s quiet.”
An individual hops out the van and moves toward the shutters of the shop, which cover the front door on the corner of the building.
The suspect uses, what looks to be, an angle grinder on the shutter’s lock mechanism, with sparks flying into the air.
The same van then returns just after 10pm, but this time the registration plate has been covered.
By now, daylight has faded and it is dark outside.
Mr Faiz said: “They tried to open the shutter, they come inside, they get a big brick and throw the brick through the door and come straight inside.”
A masked figure enters through the smashed door and gets to work on a glass display cabinet containing phones.
A second suspect then comes into the building and flips over another cabinet, as the first individual does the same to the other one.
There is then a bizarre moment when the pair leave the shop and return with their own yellow sack truck.
It quickly becomes apparent that their gaze has switched to the shop’s safe and they manage to shift the large box onto the truck.
They struggle to wheel it from the back of the store to the door, but do eventually get it outside the building.
The suspects then try to lift the truck and safe into the back of their van.
After multiple attempts, they give up, throw the truck and safe into the open doorway of the shop and race off from the scene.
In total, the ordeal could end up costing Mr Faiz up to £40,000.
It is a particularly sickening blow given the 32-year-old was in the process of trying to reopen slowly but surely, after the coronavirus crisis.
The plan was to properly get going at some point this week, but Mr Faiz says he is now “stuck” and it is especially troubling as he has his wife, four daughters (aged one, four, five and eight) and son (aged two) to support.
He said: “I’m worried, how will I feed my family.
“At the moment it’s a hard time as well, already three months we’ve been closed.
“We’ve been slowly, slowly, working to open.
“There’s still work, we need to work hard again for a few years, then we’re going to build again.”
Mr Faiz struggled to find words to say, when asked what message he would give to those who have taken away his livelihood.
He said: “What can I say?
“Police need to find the people responsible and if they find them, fine them.”
The businessman wants the culprits caught because he feels they will just carry on doing it if not.
Police have issued an appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the burglary, or have any information that could help with the investigation.
If you can help, you should contact police on 101 or use the online option on the West Yorkshire Police website.
You should quote crime reference number: 13200323467.