Around £50,000 in irreplaceable artwork has been stolen in a raid on Terry Bradley's Belfast city centre pop-up gallery and the owners have appealed to the people of the city to help recover them.
The theft was discovered on Thursday morning at the Chichester Street gallery.
Scores of original artworks and prints were taken in the raid including a large Batman canvas valued at around £2,500.
Owners said the thieves broke in through the back - from the road which runs beside Thompson's - and suspect they would have needed a van to transport the work, especially the larger pieces.
Ashley Bradley, gallery manager and wife of Terry, said many of the items taken were on order for customers in the run up to Christmas.
She said that she was in the gallery late on Wednesday night to collect pieces with her 12-year-old daughter and hoped that the thieves were not in the premises at the same time.
"The prints can be replaced, but the originals are irreplaceable," she told the Belfast Telegraph.
As the gallery was a pop up just in place for the festive period, the Bradley's insurance would not provide cover but Ashley believed the people of Belfast will help them recover the items.
"People will know something," she continued.
"Terry has great support in Belfast, people are very protective of him, they will want to help and not like that this has happened.
"This is our fourth year and it has been brilliant so far.
"Those that buy his art will be outraged, they will not want to think any one will buy his stolen work and any one that will be offered anything by him should make sure it is from a reputable dealer.
"I think the people of Belfast will be horrified and collective word will help bring them back.
"It's a nightmare."
Devastated Ashley vowed that the shop will reopen on Friday.
"We can't let them get to us, we have work at the framers and we will not let them win."
Police have appealed for information.