News of a break-in at the Sh! Portobello store broke on Twitter at the weekend, when Sh! MD and co-founder Kathryn Hoyle (@MD_ShWomenstore) tweeted, “To knobs who robbed @ShWomenstore gift vouchers #portobello break-in last night. Yes! Please come & *try* to spend ’em…#sh!girlzready4u”
Sh! Hoxton Square store manager Renee Denyer explained in more detail: “On the early hours of Sunday morning – February 5th – the alarm at our Portobello store was triggered and when police attended they realised there had been a break-in. What the plonker who broke in didn’t realise is we have very good CCTV and we’ve good, clear footage of what happened and that’s been passed on to the police, of course. I’ve no doubt they’ll catch the person responsible. It’s clear this man had visited Sh! before because he knew exactly where the light switches were- no hesitation. So we’ve reviewed our CCTV, looking at customers who’ve either attended with a lady, or on our gents evening on a Tuesday. We believe he visited with a lady who’s ‘known in the area’ but it’s hard to be 100% certain, so we’re waiting to hear more on that.”
Renee continued: “One thing he did make off with was a pile of Sh! gift vouchers, as we’ve highlighted on Twitter. If anyone’s approached about buying Sh! gift vouchers cheaply, please don’t accept them; call us on 020 7221 5476 or the police instead. We’re watching eBay, Gumtree, web auctions and so on – he took them to make money and if they get used here, we’ll get robbed again, if you know what I mean. Our fear is people could buy them in good faith, so it’s really important we spread the word. We’ll be keeping an eye on serial numbers for a while! When they’re sold, they’re dated and initialled by our girls on the back too, so it shouldn’t be difficult to identify the dodgy vouchers.”
Turning to other products taken, and the burglar’s method of entry, Renee explained: “He was mostly interested in the vouchers – he pulled the till draw completely out – but he also made off with our branch laptop, but in terms of stock, there were a few smaller items taken. Something from our current art exhibition was also stolen, which is worse, because that didn’t belong to us. I’ve had to call the artist and say ‘we’re really sorry but this has happened’ – It’s been very upsetting all round really. I know the girls at the branch felt very uneasy going back to work – they’ve scrubbed the entire shop, floor to ceiling, after the police had done what they needed to. A psychological effect of what happened. It’s an upsetting thing to have happened but the Sh! girlz bounce back! It’s a bit reassuring to know the CCTV pictures are so clear – you can see him pulling the grill off the wall. We had an iron grid over the door that he was able to remove. I’m confident that all the cameras up and down Portobello road and in the surrounding streets will have caught him coming and going too. They’ll be able to see where he came from and where he went afterwards; whichever direction. Fingers crossed they catch him soon.”
If you’re approached by anyone selling Sh! gift vouchers or have any information which could help the police, please contact them on the non-emergency 101 number, or speak to Sh! directly. Their Hoxton Square branch number is 020 7613 5458.