The owner of a west Belfast cosmetic dentist has said she “feels sick” after her surgery was broken into for the second time in just four weeks.
Dr Louise McGuigan said she awoke on Saturday morning to a phone call from the police to inform her that Gransha Dental in Andersontown, which she has run for nearly three years, had been attacked again.
Thieves kicked in the door before trashing the offices and computers, stealing money and leaving behind the taunting message ‘Catch Me If U Can’ scrawled on the wall.
“When the police first told me what had happened to the practice, my heart sank and just thought not again,” says Dr McGuigan, who stepped up to take over the dental practice in 2019 following the death of her father who previously ran it.
“The first time it happened, I just thought okay, this is what business sometimes have to go through, break-ins and robberies, I’ll move on from it. But now this being the second time, and with the graffiti on the wall, it feels personal and intimidating.”
When she arrived that morning, Dr McGuigan saw a familiar sight once again at her Glen Road location.
She added: “They had completely trashed the place, our safe was totally emptied, money was taken and multiple iPads. To add insult to injury, they didn’t even steal all of them to sell or whatever, they just smashed one against the wall, it’s horrible”
Dr McGuigan says the thieves also stole multiple pieces of “high-end dental equipment” which she said is “no use to anyone but dentists”.
She said she doesn’t understand why Gransha Dental is being targeted.
“We have no idea who keeps doing this, all we do is exceptionally good work for the community and providing a brilliant service to our clients," she said.
"Whoever did this doesn’t care about the damage they have caused or the money they have stolen which could have been the only way to pay my team this month, or my mortgage or nursery fees for my son.”
After taking to social media to “vent”, as she put it, Dr McGuigan was flooded with messages of support. The business which has become a popular spot for cosmetic procedures such as composite bonding and veneers and is a leading European provider of the popular Invisalign procedure.
“The response from current and previous clients, fellow businesses, as well as people we don’t even know, has been overwhelming, even at this time when we know it’s rough for everyone,” she said.
“We love what we do, we’re a small business just like anywhere else, we just need support and solidarity,” said Dr McGuigan, adding she isn’t going to let these repeat attacks prevent the practice from carrying out its work. “We help a lot of people and we’re not going to stop that.”
The PSNI is appealing for witnesses and for anyone who could assist with their enquires to come forward.
Sergeant Hughes confirmed police received a report and attended a burglary of a premises in the Glen Road area shortly before 8.40am on Saturday, January8.
"A sum of cash and a number of other items were taken from the premises sometime between Friday evening (7th January) and Saturday morning (8th January),” the officer said.
"Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who may have any information which could assist us with our enquiries is asked to contact 101, quoting reference number 337 of 08/01/22, or to submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.”