A HAIRDRESSERS in Highcliffe has been raided by thieves just weeks after it opened.

Terry Matthews, his brother Luke and soon-to-be sister-in-law Nicola Donnison opened Muir-Chapman Hairdressing in Lymington Road on December 12.

On Saturday morning, the traders discovered that a large paving stone had been thrown through a panel in the front door, with high-end hair care products and a computer stolen from inside.

CCTV from outside of the premises has been handed to police officers, who are investigating.

Mr Matthews said: “It was awful to come in to work and see what had happened.

“We’ve only been in business since December, and for someone to put a paving slab through the door and burgle us wasn’t nice at all. They’ve taken the best products we stock and the computer, slashed the phone lines and damaged our broadband connection.”

But he said the support from other traders had been “almost overwhelming”.

“We are so grateful to everyone who wanted to help,” he said.

“The Highcliffe business community have been superb to us. Staff at the Beauty Spot salon offered us their chairs so we could keep working, Tulips cafe gave us free tea and coffee all day, and Richard and Helen from Comojo gift shop were incredibly supportive. We couldn’t have asked for better.”

And he said the experience hadn’t put them off the area.

“We’re taking it as a compliment,” he said.

“We’ve obviously ruffled a few feathers or upset someone along the way. Only the best stock was taken, so it seems like the thief knew what they were looking for.”

He added: “Everyone has been disgusted by it.

“We’re just hoping the person responsible gets caught soon.”

Dorset Police confirmed that officers were investigating.

To speak to the police with information, call 101.