Jan 17 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
AN ORMSKIRK shop owner was left devastated after burglars stole thousands of pounds worth of designer handbags, clothing and jewellery.
Julie McDonnell was away on a New Year’s break when thieves targeted the Very Boutique dress agency on Church Street.
A friend who was looking after the store while Julie was away discovered the break-in when she arrived to open up last week.
Among the items taken were high-end designer handbags, such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and D&G and jewellery – including a Vivienne Westwood necklace – as well as vintage fur coats.
Julie said: “I got the call about it on Tuesday morning last week, I was just in shock.
“Many of the items are irreplaceable.
“The store was a mess, they had forced the back gate and kicked in the back door. The alarm was smashed on the floor and clothes were strewn everywhere.
“It’s all high-end, designer and vintage items. They have taken the most expensive things and it seems like they knew what they were looking for.”
Julie set up the business in May 2011, selling individually-sourced designer and vintage items on behalf of clients. And while it has come at a difficult time of year she has been delighted with the support of customers and other shop owners.
She said: “Everyone has been fantastic, really supportive. January is a bad time of year and we’re probably not going to be in a position to open again until next week but I won’t let this set me back.
“The main thing now is that I want to get the message out to people to stay vigilant as a lot of these items are unusual and recognisable. If anyone is offered anything they are suspicious out I would urge them to call the police.”
PC Michael Ginn of Lancashire Police said: “I would ask members of the public to contact us on 101 if they become aware of any high value designer handbags and jewellery being offered for sale. “Information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”