Ramraiders used a 4x4 truck to smash their way into a Bradford off-licence leaving it looking like a war zone and its owner £20,000 out of pocket.
The vehicle was reversed through the front of the shop in Torr Road, Buttershaw , early yesterday destroying the display windows and door and causing huge damage inside.
Owner Shahid Mahmood said: “Everything’s lost, the windows, the shutters, the suspended ceiling’s come down, wiring is scattered everywhere. It’s like a war zone, it’s like it’s been hit by a bomb.”
A tenant sleeping in the upstairs flat was woken shortly before 3am by a loud crash as the four-strong gang drove what is believed to be a Mitsubishi Shogun into ADR Convenience and Hardware Store.
“He jumped out of bed and looked out the window, shouting. I don’t think they knew anyone was up there, they jumped back in the car and escaped,” said Mr Mahmood, a 39-year-old father-of-five, who has run the shop for the past two years.
The automatic alarm brought police to the scene in minutes and forensic officers have been at the shop sifting through wreckage looking for clues.
Detectives have also been scouring through the store’s CCTV footage for any information that could lead to the gang’s identity.
Mr Mahmood said: “I think they only got away with some cigarettes. It’s hard to tell at the moment.
“Whoever did it, I think they are from the estate which is a kick in the teeth seeing as I’m only here doing a service for the community and trying to make a living.
“Times are hard but something like this makes it even harder for me and we’ve got another baby on the way.
“Insurance doesn’t pay out straight away so we desperately need to clean up quickly and get open again as soon as we can.”
Mr Mahmood said the shop was broken into a year ago when burglars tried to get in through the roof but were stopped by wooden beams.
“These people are watching too many American movies, that’s giving them these bad ideas,” he said.
Police have confirmed they believe it was a 4x4 that was reversed into the shutters before four men dressed in dark clothing went in to the shop and drove off again towards Mandale Road.
Officers have also been carrying out house-to-house inquiries to help with the investigation and any witnesses or anyone with information should contact them at Bradford South CID on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.