Black City Records raises over £2,500 after burglary

An online fundraiser for a burgled record shop raised over £2,500 from more than a hundred donations. Black City Records, on Trenchard Street in the city centre, was broken into on Wednesday 7 September, at around 11.30pm.

Shop owner David Savage posted news of the burglary on the popular music shop’s Facebook page, which has around 3,000 followers, early on Thursday morning. “So, here’s the post we never thought we’d have to write,” he began.

“We got notifications via our CCTV that there was movement in the shop and on checking noticed a figure searching through every nook and cranny in the shop.” David immediately dialled 999 and made his way to the premises, but it was too late. “When we arrived we found that the glass to one of the front doors had been put in by an iron bar,” he wrote.

“All the cash on the premises had been stolen, two charity collection tins were also taken (I know, classy right?) and our computer system and till system were completely smashed to pieces as well as some of the CCTV cameras ripped from the walls.”

The GoFundMe appeal, organised by John Ashby, had received 150 pledges by 1pm on Friday. The total raised stood at £2,910 – almost three times the target amount of £1,000.

The raider smashed up the shop's electronic equipment.
The raider smashed up the shop’s electronic equipment.
(Image: David Savage)

The store – which bills itself as “the South West’s only heavy metal record shop”, has been a feature of Trenchard Street for around 18 months. “We’ve worked tirelessly… on the tiniest of margins to get the shop to where it’s at and to see this happen in a matter of minutes is truly devastating,” David wrote.

He added: “We are totally floored by it all and typing this this morning is proving more emotionally difficult than I’d had ever imagined!” The post added that Black City Records would be shut for “a while” for the owners to clean up, make repairs and “deal with the tidal wave of emotions” they were feeling – but its online shop remains open for business.

On Friday, David was still in the shop cleaning up the mess. “We’ve been sleeping on the sofa in the shop for the last two nights to make sure the place is secure,” he told Bristol Live. “All of the CCTV needs completely rewiring where it was pulled down. I’ve brought my own computer in but I need to go out and replace our till system. That should put us in good stead to open again very soon, hopefully next week.”

The lone male burglar went on his electronics-smashing rampage after noticing the CCTV cameras, David said. “He clocked the cameras quite late and then he’s pulled them down and smashed the equipment, perhaps thinking the CCTV was housed on there.

“It’s just absolutely pointless, that’s the upsetting thing. Record shop owners don’t become millionaires, we do it out of love and little else. Just to see it destroyed in a few minutes is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s going to be difficult getting some confidence back.”

Support has flooded in from friends and fans across the city, as well as the heavy metal scene and the music industry as a whole. “It’s been completely overwhelming,” said David. “We’re completely taken aback and knocked for six.

A police spokeswoman said: “Officers were called by a witness reporting the sound of smashing glass at 11.25pm on Wednesday 7 September. They attended but the offender had already fled. A window had been broken to gain access and cash was stolen, including two charity collection tins for Great Western Air Ambulance.”

She added: “The intruder also damaged electrical equipment including CCTV cameras and a computer. If you have any information which could help the ongoing investigation, including any dashcam footage of Trenchard Street at about that time, please call 101 and give the reference 5222216844.

“Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111, or via their website.”

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