A SHOPFRONT window in Sandown High Street has been smashed twice by youths wearing hoodies, leaving the owner appalled at the lack of progress in apprehending the vandals.

Zest, which sells beach goods, souvenirs and vaping products, had its window smashed in on May 4 and then again overnight on July 6.

Despite being insured, the cost to the shop owner has spiralled into thousands due to the excess and increased premium.

He has also had to remove all vaping products from the display, as he believes this is what the vandals are attracted to.

Gamal Ragheb opened the store in June 2012 and has never had any problems before.

He said: "I think they are targeting me for some reason, maybe they are youths who I have refused to sell vaping products to because of their age, I don't know.

"I used to have my vaping stock in the window to show people what I am selling, but I have had to put it inside to remove the temptation, but I need to display my goods so I should not have to do that.

"I replaced the window the first time, only to see it broken again. I can't afford to keep doing that."

A neighbour opposite witnessed three youths, wearing hoodies, twice trying to smash the window, overnight on July 6. The second time, they carried a boulder along the road to make another attempt.

Due to the window being toughened glass, it didn't quite break through and the youths went home empty-handed.

She phoned police twice but officers didn't visit the shop for a few days.

Gamal said: "The police were phoned but no-one turned up. If they had, they may have caught them. There is also CCTV evidence showing the distinctive hoodies.

"Despite this, the police have not caught anyone and they suggested I put bars up at the window. I shouldn't have to do that and it would not look good.

"If these people are not punished they will do it again."

A spokesperson for the Hampshire and IW Constabulary said: "We are investigating two criminal damage incidents that took place at Zest.

"We are aware that the victims are unhappy with the progress of the investigations, however we can confirm that both investigations remain ongoing and enquiries are in hand."

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