THIEVES keen to hook themselves some free gear tunnelled through three brick walls to burgle a fishing shop.
Using tactics more commonly seen in bank heist movies, the crooks cut through the brickwork of a Victorian former boozer then two sets of breeze block walls to get into Anglers’ Supplies in Cardiff.
Creating a 2x1ft rectangular hole in the shop’s back wall, burglars then systematically cherry-picked the contents, apparently passing them back through the gap they created.
The burglars appear to have first broken into the former Baroness Windsor Pub on Penarth Road, in the city’s Grangetown area, before tunnelling through its cellar walls and into the next- door shop.
The disused drinking den, built in the 1880s, is in the process of being turned into flats and was full of builders’ lamps.
But the raiders appear to have been fixed on certain items.
Shop owner Mike Miles’ entire stock of air rifles was taken during the overnight raid sometime between Friday and yesterday. All his fly rods, along with specialist fishermen’s clothing, are also gone. Locks on glass display cabinets were popped and a selection of reels taken. The cost of the burglary runs into thousands of pounds.
Mr Miles, who found the scene of devastation yesterday morning, now faces the headache of having to secure his shop – which he has run for 40 years – not only by reconstructing a wall but ensuring it can’t be burgled the same way again.
From the shop’s outside, all seemed normal with the windows lined with fishing rods.
It was only when Mr Miles opened up at 9am yesterday that he discovered the scale of his loss.
He said: “I noticed a fishing rod was at an angle and there were some boxes on the floor and the alarm was making a funny noise. The alarm is connected to the police control room, so I don’t know how it didn’t go off.
“It’s caused chaos because I’ve got live bait in the shop and have been having to serve customers at the door while the forensics team have been here.
“They’ve smashed through doors to get upstairs. It’s not just the burglary, it’s the mess they’ve made and having to secure the place.”
The crooks appear to have given cops a headache too.
Shop assistant Tony Williams said: “The police said they’ve never seen anything like it. This wasn’t done in a couple of minutes. It looks as though they’ve used some sort of tool. To do it by hand would have taken a lot of time and effort.”
Mr Williams said securing the shop was going to be difficult.
“It’s not like smashing the front window of the shop,” he said. “How do you make the wall between the two buildings secure? It’s no good sticking a wooden board over it. They’ve come through by an electrical fitting, which has now left wire exposed. They could have been electrocuted. We could have come in and found a dead body.”
A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said they were investigating.