Second ram-raid in fortnight on city boutique Brazil
The owner of a fashion store yards from Belfast City Hall has been left stunned after the shop was hit by ram-raiders twice in two weeks.
David Simpson - owner of Brazil in Wellington Place - cannot believe how brazen the thieves were in attacking his shop again, getting away with men's jackets and children's clothing.
A white Volkswagen Passat stolen in Bangor was used in the raid at 3.30am yesterday.
The thieves drove head-on into the shop's shutter, sending the toughened glass window across the store. An electric junction box on the street was also damaged.
The car was later found on fire at Roumania Rise in west Belfast.
An upset Mr Simpson told the Belfast Telegraph: "I cannot understand how these people get away with it.
"Our shop is on Wellington Place, right in the heart of the city. How can it be possible it is attacked twice in two weeks?
"It seems they had two attempts at ramming the shop, coming at it forwards and then reversing into it. The window is heavy and made of toughened glass. While the glass broke, the window remained intact and was sent flying up the shop in one piece.
"They got away with men's jackets and some clothes for kids. It seems these thieves are attacking the more high end stores, with similar incidents on the Lisburn Road."
Last week three teenagers were charged with burglaries, aggravated vehicle taking and failing to report or stop at an accident after a city-wide crime spree that included a ram-raid on a fashion outlet on Lislea Avenue, just off the Lisburn Road in south Belfast. According to the charges, clothing worth £36,000 was stolen.
Mr Simpson added: "We had asked the authorities about placing bollards in front of the shop but we were refused." Police are appealing for information following the burglary.
The store will be open as normal today, albeit with a clean-up operation still ongoing.