Arts and Culture

Northern Quarter street-wear and vintage clothing shop burgled

Northern Quarter independent street-wear and vintage apparel shop Suzy Loves Milo was burgled yesterday with thousands of pounds worth of stock stolen.

The initial break-in at the Spear Street shop was carried out by four masked individuals and took place on the between 2am and 6am.

According to CCTV footage provided by locals from the area, another couple were also spotted looting the shop after the initial burglary and the initial thieves reportedly returned three times to the shop with a van spotted.

For shop owner Suzy Wallis, the cost of the burglary is more than just financial – it’s emotional.

She said: “My heads in a bit of a spin. I feel numb and a bit weird.

“You think – ‘Are we being targeted?’

“We’ve invested everything we have into this – this is it for us.”

The incident follows a string of burglaries in the area.

Police attended the scene early that morning after local community members spotted mannequins in the street and informed owner Suzy.

She said: “We came as quickly as we could … we got here to a broken window.

“The shop was pretty much ransacked.

“They were all masked [with] hoods up, they all have gloves on. So I don’t know how much we’ll find.”

Among the stolen stock were handbags, an entire stock of only recently sourced lightweight jackets, North Face jackets, and much of the other branded clothes including a rare collector’s top worth £600.

The remaining stock was strewn across the floor.

Suzy Loves Milo was set up 15 years ago by Suzy and her partner and has only been on Spear Street since September last year.

“I wanted to make things up because I [studied] fashion. We bought a few bits of vintage and we did little pop-up stalls here and there. My partner went into vintage fairs, travelling around the country. It evolved from there.”

“The name Suzy Loves Milo is after our first dog, Milo, who we named after the Bathing Ape – the Japanese clothing label.”

While I interviewed Suzy a new alarm system and smoke screen were being installed to deter any future break-ins.

At further cost the shop will also be installing shutters on the windows.

Suzy’s car was also recently targeted by opportunist thieves.

Referring to the police response, Suzy said: “Forensics came looking for fingerprints and blood … unfortunately they couldn’t find any.

“They did come quite quickly this morning. And they were great. They were really helpful.”

However, Suzy did say she wished that police were more “prominent” on the streets.

She added: “I think there could be a bit more of a presence on the streets so people don’t feel like they can get away with this so easily.”

According to one of the employees, police informed them there were only “two police officers attending Greater Manchester last night” – he said he would like to know why this was the case.

A customer in the shop remarked: “It’s just sad that people feel they’ve got no options, so they have to [steal].”

The customer was not alone in expressing the sentiment of sadness and concern.

Standing outside their address on Spear Sreet: one of the shop’s employees looks on protectively.

Describing her gratitude for the help and support provided by the local community, Suzy said: “It’s amazing how wonderful everyone is in this area. They’ve all been coming by, asking us how we are. And everyone’s been running over saying – ‘I’ve got CCTV of it.’

“My phone hasn’t stopped ringing all day. We’ve had so many messages. It’s been such a fabulous response.

“It’s been overwhelming, really.”

The evidence of such a resilient community spirit was plain to see, with the shop secured and cleaned up by the time I arrived to interview in the afternoon.

Suzy puts on a brave face after a challenging and emotional day; her shop with the boarded up window in the background.

You can find Suzy Loves Milo on Instagram @suzylovesmilo – or on Depop via the link at the start of the article.

The police investigation continues.

Twitter: @tom_farish

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