A mum has been left devastated after toys worth £15,000 were stolen from her businmess she set up after being furloughed.
Christine Gould set up the business – The Little Toy Barn – after she was furloughed from her job as a business development executive.
The 42-year-old has been left heartbroken after thieves broke into her business in Nantwich and ransacked the place – taking the £15,000 worth of toys with them.
Christine, a mum-of-three, who lives in Wrenbury, set up the business as extra income for her family after separating from her husband.
She has always dreamed of setting up her own toy business and had sourced toys from across the world, focusing on rare and hard to find items.
She said: “I originally set this up to for extra income when I was left supporting three children as a single parent.
“As the years have passed by I’ve slowly managed to grow this to a stage where I could do this full time.
“I was so excited about the future.”
But her dreams came crashing down last Saturday when thieves stole 24 boxes of toys.
The burglary at the outbuilding on Nantwich Road is believed to have happened sometime between 8pm on Saturday, June 6 and 1.30pm on Sunday, June 7, reports CheshireLive.
Before the burglary happened Christine had put a thick chain and lock on the gate to the premises – something she wouldn’t normally do.
She said: “I didn’t hear anything that night and had a relaxed Sunday morning.
“It got to about 1.30pm when I decided to go and unpack some deliveries from before the weekend.”
Christine was not prepared for what she saw next as she entered the stables where the toy business has been set up.
“I didn’t realise I’d had a break-in,” she said.
“I did see a blue Rutland electric fence post on the floor but initially thought the kids had dragged something from under a bush!
“The stables have three doors and I went in through the door I had turned into an office.
“When I got in there I couldn’t comprehend what had happened, there was mess everywhere.
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“Then I went into where the goods are stored and it had been ransacked.
“Before the break-in there were boxes full of goods stacked high, these had all gone and the shelves cleared.
“I just could not believe it. I crumpled to the floor in tears.”
Christine went back outside to try and “make sense of the situation” and it was then when she saw how the thieves had broken through the middle door of the stables.
Christine and the family believe the thieves used the electric fence post to aid their break in and carry in excess of 24 large boxes of toys over the fields to their pick-up point.
“This was definitely an organised and targeting robbery,” she said.
“I’m devastated,” she said.
“I have been working on this business for many years.
“The children’s father passed away five years ago and I’ve been working full time and trying to build this up.
“I was recently furloughed so I’ve been working hard to put everything I could into this.”
Cheshire Constabulary are appealing for information following the burglary.
Enquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
Police Constable Steven Wood of Crewe Local Policing Unit said: “While we’re in the early stages of the investigation, we are doing everything we can to bring the offenders to justice.
“This incident has now left a business without a considerable amount of stock.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who may have information on those responsible for this burglary or may have dashcam footage from around the time of the incident to come forward.”
Christine’s daughter Katayha has set up a Go Fund Me page to help her mum get back on her feet with The Little Toy Barn.
Christine said: “I thought it was really nice of her to try and help and even humbled that strangers have donated when the country is going through such hard times.
“After such a bad experience it really does give me faith there are so many really decent people out there.”
You can donate and help Christine by visiting the Go Fund Me page here.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting IML 724517 or via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report/.