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Portland business targeted by vandals
1:36pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
A PORTLAND shop owner has hit out against vandals who smashed the windows of his six day old business.
Andrew Hodgkins, 44, opened HFA Jewellery store on Reforne, near Easton Square, just last week.
The businessman said he was 'devastated' to find the main display window smashed yesterday morning (wed) with shattered glass covering the shop floor and the road outside.
He claims the act of vandalism could cost more than £2,000 to repair as well as valuable trading time while repair work is completed.
“I am absolutely devastated that this has happened after just six days of trading.
“I don't know who would do this, it is just mindless vandalism.”
The incident took place at some point during Tuesday night and early yesterday morning.
Dorset Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward to help them with enquiries.
Mr Hodgkins, who lives on Portland and has been a jeweller for ten-years, named his business after sons Harry, 9, Freddie, 7, and four-year-old Archie.
“It is the first shop I have ever opened and it was doing really well, so this is a real knock-back.
“The community and other local traders have been really supportive.”
He is urging local residents to get behind the store and other businesses in Easton square.
“I wanted to open a jewellery store on Portland so the residents didn't have to go all the way into Weymouth to find one and Easton Square really needs a boost.
“I've have had so much positive feedback, everyone seems really happy it is here so I am determined to move on from this awful incident.
“The most worrying thing is that it could happen again.”
Resident and customer Linda Marshall said: “It is an absolutely disgusting example of mindless vandalism.
“I was so pleased when the shop opened, people should be supporting local businesses not trying to ruin them.”
The distraught jeweller, who is originally from Cannock, said he has lived on and off the island for 30 years.
He added: “I just want the community to rally together and support the businesses in Easton.”
A SPOKESMAN for Dorset Police said: “We received a call at around 7.20am on Wednesday morning reporting some criminal damage to a shop window at the new jewellery shop, Easton, Portland.
“The incident is believed to have taken place overnight.
“The location is next to the butchers shop at Reforne.
“Officers arrived on scene to find a large window smashed and glass over the road.
“At present, it is unknown if anything has been taken.”