The moment thieves use stolen car to smash their way out of showroom in getaway

  • ITV News Meridian's Kara Digby has been speaking to the owners of the car showroom who say they're in 'complete shock'.

CCTV cameras have captured the moment thieves break into a used car showroom in Portsmouth, and smashed their way out, making their getaway in stolen cars.

The shocking raid took place just before 3am on Wednesday (2 March) at GT Hewett & Son Ltd on Copnor Road.

In the footage, the thieves can be seen gaining access to the showroom through the back door, before breaking into one of the cars, and forcing their way through the glass windows onto the streets. They stole two vehicles in total and a number of keys.

James Hewett, a third generation co-director of the business, said: "We've been in business for sixty years. We've never suffered anything like this before and it is just extremely shocking that the society we live in now that this sort of thing goes on, and can happen so quickly really."

  • Co-director at G.T. Hewett and Son Ltd, James Hewett told ITV News Meridian the incident has left their family in shock

Mr Hewett said they've been overwhelmed with messages of support from the local community, with dozens of phone calls, and people attending the shop to help with the clean-up operation.

He said: "It has been really heartening to get so many phone calls, so many messaged from people offering to literally stop what they're doing today and come down and help us out, help us clear up, and help us make the building secure."

"It's just been an absolutely fantastic response from friends, and from customers alike."

The business has been left thousands of pounds out of pocket. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Mr Hewett added: "I would just question what right they think they have to come and damage other people's property. And people that have been in business for sixty years, and worked hard that whole time - and I just question what right they think they've got to come and try and take that away from us."

In a statement, a Hampshire Police spokesperson said, "We were called at 3.51am this morning (Wednesday 2 March) to a report of a break-in at GT Hewett & Son Ltd on Copnor Road.

"Two vehicles have been reported as stolen following the incident.

"An investigation is underway. Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting 44220084437."