Thieves escaped with £17,000-worth of fireworks from an Eastbourne warehouse in what police believe may have been a carefully planned burglary.
Officers are now seeking witnesses or any information concerning the theft at ESK in Courtlands Road, which happened between 8.45pm and midnight on Tuesday last week (January 24).
It is believed two intruders were responsible, targeting Spook-branded fireworks after breaking in to the unit.
Bob Beevis, store owner, said, “I’m gutted. Everybody here works so hard to make the company a success.
“Then this happens. We are now upping security.
“Why didn’t police pick up on this? We don’t see many police patrols.”
Manager David Hodger said, “We are concerned that all these explosives are out in the world at the moment.
“The burglars climbed a razor wire fence and went straight to the container with the fireworks.
“They looked like they knew what they were doing, they knew what was what.
“It took them three hours, they even looked quite relaxed doing it.
“We’re angry, concerned, and disappointed.”
The raiders made off in a large vehicle which was described to appear like a horse box converted into a camper van.
PC James Gardner, of the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Response team, said, “This was almost certainly a carefully planned and targeted theft.
“The quantity of fireworks stored at ESK would suggest that a reasonably large vehicle was used to transport them, and it would have taken several hours to move the fireworks from the premises.”
The store is offering a £500 reward for information leading to the apprehension and prosecution of the men involved.
Anyone with information is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting serial 255 of 25/01.
They can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or phone 101.