New business burgled just days after opening in Hailsham

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A new shop which opened in Hailsham town centre last week has been broken into - with thieves making off with a large television after smashing the front window to gain entry.

Sussex Police and Hailsham Town Council are calling for the public’s help to identify those responsible for breaking into the Dragon Studios Photography premises in Market Square.

The council said thieves gained entry into the property at around 3.40am on Monday by smashing the front window and made off with a 42in television from the main reception area.

A council spokesman said extensive damage was caused to the new photographic studio which was opened to the public by Town Mayor cllr Jo Bentley last Friday (December 12) with the studio’s director Harvey Cooper.

Officers are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area around the time of the break-in to contact them with information.

Town Clerk John Harrison said: “This is really upsetting because Harvey and his team have worked around the clock for the last few weeks to get the photographic studio ready to open to the public and have only been open since last Friday.

“CCTV footage has been obtained which confirmed the offenders were in the shop for approximately three minutes. The police are reviewing this CCTV footage. In the meantime, the town council and police are appealing for witnesses and urge anybody with information on the incident to call 101.”

Inspector Howard Nevill, of Sussex Police, said: “We will do everything in our power to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for this criminal act. A lot of time and investment has been made by all the partner agencies into making Wealden a safe place, and we are proud of the fact it is one of the safest places to live in the country. This is the type of crime we must robustly and quickly tackle to ensure this remains the case and would encourage the community to provide what information they can to assist.”

The studio was founded in 2012 and offers flexible and bespoke services including wedding photography, family portraits, pet photography, newborn photography, child portraits and wildlife photography, as well as professional photos for birthdays and christenings.

Speaking at the opening of the studio Mr Cooper said: “I’m delighted to have found somewhere suitable in Hailsham to base my business. It’s such a friendly place to work in, even though my work takes me all over the region. Thank you to Cllr Bentley for such a warm welcome at the opening.

“My heart and soul has gone into this project and I’ve worked hard in recent weeks to get the studio looking great.”