An antiques shop in St Margarets was broken into and saw its entire takings for January stolen at the weekend.

The Vintage & Velvet shop in Crown Road had its front doors smashed in between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

A concealed safe and an antique cash register were broken into, with the month’s profits pinched as well as a customer deposit.

Antique apothecary bottles were also taken, as were cereal bars which were kept behind the till of the shop that opened just three months ago.

Owner Amanda Wilkinson, 53, said: “We have opened up trying to have a bit of fun and really want the shop to become part of the community.

“When something like this happens, it just leaves you sad - I'm not even angry, just resentful.

“This modest business is a real passion and hobby of mine and it is disheartening for somebody to just come in and renders that month’s work worthless.”

Mrs Wilkinson said the burglary had made her think twice about security measures taken in the vintage-clad shop.

She said: “If it carries on then we will find ourselves in a situation where we need to install a security camera downstairs or have a member of staff hovering - I don’t want that.

“But I have a positive attitude and have to look upon it as a lesson learnt but it seems unlikely those who did it will be caught.

“Since the break-in, we have improved security but we really must ask why the CCTV cameras outside are pointing towards the parking bay outside Tesco instead of the many smaller traders.”

A delivery man discovered the break-in on Sunday and contacted the police who in turn contacted Mrs Wilkinson.

She said the shop does not make a lot of profit and in fact most of their transactions are carried out electronically by card.

Mrs Wilkinson, who has lived in Kew and Richmond for the past eight years, runs the shop by herself after setting it up with inheritance left by her parents.

She added: “As long as it breaks even, that is all that matters - I just want to have fun and give something different to St Margarets.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Richmond CID on 101 or, to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.