Shop owner “devastated” after Cleckheaton shop is ransacked after one day open

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Burglars ransacked a shop in Cleckheaton after its first day open, leading its owner to shut up shop after just one day of business.

Clothes designer Olivia Priestley has calculated that around £6,000 of materials, including dresses, two sewing machines and two laptops were snatched from her shop Off The Stand in Westgate.

The distinctive, custom-made clothes for women and children are thought to have been taken late on Saturday, August 30 after the burglars came inthrough the roof.

Olivia had a successful opening day on the Saturday before closing at 5.30pm. She came back the next morning to get her diary – and discovered the shop was empty.

Olivia, 24, of Scholes, said: “It was devastating. Months and months I’ve been looking for a shop and everything’s gone. We are closed now because I have nothing to sell.

“I always wanted my own shop so started doing it from home. We’ve been doing the shop up for about two months.”

Olivia has made clothes for stores around the country for 18 months, after studying fashion at the University of Huddersfield.

Since finding the building, she has been working as late as 10pm in the evenings to get it how she wanted.

She expressed frustration that the burglars have stolen customised items without size labels on – so will probably find them hard to sell.

Olivia has vowed to re-open as soon as she can, but needs to makes clothes for orders around the country before re-starting on her own stock.

“I don’t want to just open and have a couple of things to sell,” she said.

She will no longer stay in the shop on her own, she added, fearing a similar offence.

Inspector Neil Money of the Spen NPT, said: “This is a despicable crime where the victim is working hard to try and set up a new business – but someone has done their best to destroy that business.

“A lot of the clothing stolen was bespoke to the shop – if you are offered clothing for sale and the deal seems too good to be true then it probably is.

“Or if you are offered other items for sale and are concerned about where they have come from then call police on 101. Likewise if you are aware of somebody trying to sell on any items of clothing in the local area or who may have committed this crime then get in contact.”