Business owner forced to clear bank account to buy new stock

Ciara Smith of Adore beauty salon.  (1405JB41)
Ciara Smith of Adore beauty salon. (1405JB41)

A Derry businesswoman says she’s been left broken hearted after thieves raided her city centre hair salon stealing thousands of pounds worth of stock.

Police are now investigating the break in at ‘Adore’ hair and beauty salon in Waterloo Street, just weeks after an adult store in the area was also targeted by criminals.

Ciara Smith, owner of the salon says she was horrified to discover that her salon had been broken into at the beginning of this week after trading as normal last weekend. The local woman, who launched the business two years ago says she’s worked hard in difficult times to keep things going and described the break in to her premises as “heartbreaking.” She’s also revealed how she’s had to empty her personal bank account to replenish stock in order to keep trading in the immediate aftermath of the burglary.

“I’ve been here two years and I’ve worked hard week after week to make a success of things and I couldn’t believe it when I heard this had happened.

“I was alerted by one of the other businesses in the street and I had my young son with me when I went to the shop and saw what had been taken. It’s been so traumatising,

“I got such a shock and I couldn’t believe anyone would go out of their way to do this to somebody who’s just trying to earn a living. It’s been a real mission for me to get this far with the salon and I’ve worked non stop to try and make a profit and this is a complete nightmare.”

The local hairdresser says she’s now waiting to see whether or not an insurance company will cover her losses.

“I’ve scraped my bank account clean in the meantime and I have no option but to come back to work and try and make up for what’s happened by keeping the salon busy. I’m not a big business, this a small independent salon and it’s not easy at the best of times, never mind this,” she said.

She also paid tribute to other business owners and local people who have supported her over the past week.

“People have been very good. One girl came in with a big box of chocolates and I’ve had great support from friends and I’m really grateful for it all.”

In the wake of recent break ins, police have warned other business owners to be particularly vigilant in the coming days.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Detectives in Foyle are asking owners of commercial premises to review their security following several burglaries in the city in the last few weeks.”

Police also detailed what had been taken in the recent burglary, including high end brands and a substantial quantity of cosmetics.

Ciara Smith has appealed to members of the public who are offered any of the following goods in suspicious circumstances to contact the police.

Two Pairs of ‘Cloud Nine’ Hair Straighteners; Two Cloud Nine Hair Wands; One Big O Heated Roller Set - Cloud Nine

Various stands of Glow make-up worth over £3,000 and 32 vintage handbags.

The police spokesperson added: “Anyone with information about the incident or is approached to purchase these items from an unusual source is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000 or a member of your local Neighbourhood Team directly – details can be found on the PSNI website. Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111. Businesses seeking further advice can contact the Foyle Crime Prevention Officer on 0845 600 8000.”