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Have A Heart
Friday 4th December 2015 @ 13:28 by Lee Wild

A heartfelt appeal and reward is being offered by a photographer after family pictures of his children were stolen in a raid.

Callous thieves trashed Barry Mellor’s new business premises in Mossley on Sunday night, stealing equipment and smashing studios, leaving a trail of destruction and misery behind in the countdown to Christmas.

Barry had been busy setting up the new premises in the historic Bank Chambers Studio on Old Brow and preparing for a glittering launch event next Thursday.

Now those plans have been cancelled as the professional photographer is left counting the cost to his business and livelihood.

“This has taken food out of my kids’ mouths, all the equipment will have to be replaced,” he told the Reporter this week.

“We’re absolutely gutted. It’s our second studio and we’ve been going at a million miles an hour trying to get everything set up.

“I’ve been working like mad photographing and editing.

“I’d done most of the Christmas orders, but the thieves have stolen the edited files – it’s weeks worth of work.

“It’s a real kick in the teeth for us because we want to grow the business and start employing local students.”

But despite the costs to his business the Mossley family man says no value can be placed on the personal pictures of his children taken in the raid.

He said the pictures would mean nothing to the thieves – but mean the world to him and his wife Rebecca.

Barry has put up a £500 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the equipment – and has appealed to the thieves to have a heart and return the personal photos.

The new studio was set to open with a special “Booze, Bites & Blunos” night with TV Chef Martin Blunos.
Barry says that is unlikely to happen now until next summer.

But he has pledged that all the work he was doing on behalf of customers will be ready for them for Christmas.

“We’re still trading as normal and we will still get everyone’s work complete for Christmas,” said Barry, who has been a professional photographer for more then ten years.

He fears the break-in could be personally motivated, stating he has recently been a victim of identity theft and has had his bank account details hacked.

But he says he is determined to put the incidents behind him to build a successful Mossley business and reorganise a successful launch event.

Anyone with any information about the break-in and theft is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.