A FURNITURE dealer from Liskeard has been left devastated after £4,000 worth of antiques were stolen from his shop in Moorswater.
Steve Sullivan, who runs Steve's Furniture, discovered the break-in which saw many valuable items taken.
"I came down in the morning and noticed the door was slightly open.
"I had a look around and that's when I noticed that stuff had gone," he explained.
A number of items were stolen from the shop including wooden chests, antique clocks and a music box. One of the most valuable pieces was a Chinese clock, estimated to be worth £1,200.
Mr Sullivan had carefully restored several of the items to prepare them for resale.
The items were stolen on September 27.
The 54-year-old, who first started his business as a stallholder 25 years ago, said: "It's made me feel like packing it all up, because business is a complete struggle anyway."
"They say we're coming out of the recession but I can't see that. It's only getting worse."
The tough economic times had hit the business hard in recent months.
"It drags me down," Mr Sullivan said. "My van's off the road because I can't do any buying or selling, money's so tight."
Mr Sullivan's business was originally based on the Heathlands Industrial Estate in the town centre but he was forced to find an alternative shop because he could no longer afford the rent.
After moving to his new premises in Moorswater he was unable to obtain business insurance due to the high risk of flooding in the area – meaning his losses from the burglary aren't covered. "I can't claim for any of it," he said.
Since the break-in Mr Sullivan has spent hundreds of pounds putting up a steel gate on the front door and installing security cameras.
"They were crafty. They knew where the CCTV cameras from the garage next door were and hid from them," he said.
Mr Sullivan said he was disappointed in the police's efforts to trace the goods.
"It happened weeks ago and they haven't done anything about it," he said. "It's taken too long. I don't think I'll get any of it back now."
An appeal for information about the raid was released to the press this week.
A police spokesman said: "Although officers did not make appeals to the public via the media until the end of October, there had been a continuing investigation.
"This included viewing CCTV and circulating the photographs to local police officers. We remained in regular contact with the victim and followed up information from him, but unfortunately none of these inquiries led to an arrest."
Police say they are especially keen to hear from proprietors of antique shops who may have been offered similar items or know of anyone else who has.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference BD/12/1210 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
They can also report at www.Crimestoppers-uk.org