THIEVES have ransacked a cycle shop and made off with bikes and equipment worth more than £20,000.
Burglars raided the Bike Centre, North Baddesley, taking 20 bikes and petty cash, leaving the owners devastated.
Co-owner Chris Bailey arrived at the shop at 8.30am yesterday to open up and only realised after he got inside that something was wrong.
The showroom was left almost empty and the floor strewn with debris, while a back room had been searched so thoroughly that coffee tins had their lids pulled off.
The business is owned by Mr Bailey and Tony Edwards, with directors Jane Edwards and Trish Bailey.
Mr Bailey said: “I’m totally gutted. We are absolutely devastated because we have worked hard for two years to build this up from nothing and get it going.
The owners believe that due to the amount of bicycles and equipment that were taken, the shop must have been especially targeted by the thieves.
Valuable electric bikes and chargers were taken, while less valuable children’s gear was left behind.
The business opened in the current premises in October 2013 after relocating from a warehouse which began trading a year previously.
Mr Bailey and Mr Edwards have been friends and bike enthusiasts since childhood and both worked separately before deciding to team up and go into business.
Mrs Edwards said: “They took all the good stuff and they had to know what they were doing.
“We’ve been doing extremely well here, building up a client base. We worked so hard.”
The items stolen include bikes made by FreeGo and Juicy, and the owners urge anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area, or who is offered a bike, to contact police.
PC Claire Browne said: “It’s a high-value burglary and could have happened at any point from Saturday at 5pm to 8.30am on Tuesday morning.
“We will be doing research in respect of the stolen items and carrying out enquiries to see whether anybody heard anything.”
Contact Romsey police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.