A SALON owner is devastated after thieves smashed their way into her shop in Gorse Hill and stole a laptop and petty cash just days before Christmas.

Samantha Scott, who owns Find Your Diva, in Cricklade Road, was gutted when she arrived at work on Wednesday morning and discovered that she had been targeted by burglars.

Despite the fact that she had taken extra precautions to protect her business, the thieves had managed to scale a six ft fence topped with barbed wire and rip through a second fence before smashing their way through metal barriers and a window to get inside the salon.

Samantha said: “We work so hard and it is just the lack of respect that gets to me really.

“I had put the barbed wire up and the fencing, the windows had metal bars up and I have shutters at the front of the shop, so I don’t know what else I could have done to protect the place.

“I suspect it was kids because the hole they climbed through in the window is quite small. “They hurt themselves while doing it though because there was blood found, so in a way I am hoping they have done something like this before so they can be caught.”

The burglary is believed to have taken place at some point between 5.30pm when Samantha and her staff left work on Tuesday, and 8.30am on Wednesday when they returned to open the shop.

Samantha believes the salon, which offers holistic health hair and beauty treatments, could have been targeted by thieves who believed there could have been expensive hair straighteners and similar equipment inside.

“The police said they might have thought we had GHD hair straighteners inside because there have been similar burglaries to other businesses where they sell GHDs,” she said. “But we’ve been too busy lately to even order new stock “It seems they knew the place quite well so we aren’t sure if they have been in before as clients, which isn’t a nice thought. Despite the burglary, the salon was open for business as usual on Wednesday afternoon.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area from Tuesday at 5.30pm to Wednesday at 8.30pm to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.