Bosses at a shop which was targeted by a thief say they are likely to lose as much as £5,000 after the store was raided.

Michael Tucker will serve 26 weeks in jail after burgling A1 Braintree, in Rayne Road, in the early hours of Monday.

Tucker, 35, of no fixed address, had used a brick to smash the front window of the store before then attempting to free a display bike which was anchored to the floor. 

Though he was able to remove the bike from the display, Tucker was unable to get it out of the smashed window and was blissfully unaware police officers had arrived at the scene. 

He was arrested immediately and later charged with burglary by Essex Police.

He admitted the offence when appearing at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Tuesday and was handed six months in jail. He was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation.

Though no items were stolen from A1 Braintree, bosses at the store say the damage caused by Tucker means they could well lose several thousands of pounds.

The display bike Tucker attempted to steal was left badly scratched and is now likely to have lost most of its original £2,000 value.

Michael Catchpole, who helps run the store, said: "I'm really disappointed to be honest. "You always wonder why someone would do this.

"We've got CCTV of it all. You can see he cut himself on the glass because there's quite a bit of blood outside on the pavement.

"It's the worst time for it to happen because it's our busiest part of the year. We only have two weeks left until Christmas but we've now lost a week looking for a replacement window.

"All of our Christmas profits will be spent on getting new windows, rather than ordering in stock for the new year. The money will actually have to come out of mine and Gary's pockets."

Mr Catchpole estimates the break-in could see the business lose up to £5,000, with most of the money coming out of his own pocket. It will also leave the company with limited funds to order in stock in the new year.

Though Mr Catchpole says there is no immediate risk to A1 Braintree's future, he admits criminal activity such as Sunday's incident will only increase the pressure on independent businesses in the town.

He added: "We are now the oldest independent shop in Braintree which says it all really.

"Businesses are struggling enough as it is without having to deal with windows being smashed or having shops broken into. Things like this will take us all to the edge and makes you think is it really worth it?"