TWO businesses have been targeted by burglars who made off with more than £20,000 worth of goods in an overnight break-in.

Both Hartley’s off licence and Lucky Stone recording studio below it, in St George’s Road, Brighton, were burgled in the early hours of yesterday morning at around 3am.

Thousands of pounds worth of expensive recording equipment and guitars were taken from the studio after thieves broke in through the back door, before heading upstairs to the off-license to take a large amount of cigarettes and around £100 cash from the till.

Samuel Buckley, who co-owns the studio with his girlfriend Caitlin Barnard, said: “My entire life is in this project. All of my savings and the help of others.

“I had a call from my friend in the café over the road in the morning to tell me.

“The damage to the door upstairs is just horrendous.

“It’s looking like around £20,000 of equipment. I am pretty gutted.

“The equipment has a monetary value I guess but it’s more that I have built up that collection over my entire life.

“The sentimental value is just indescribable. It’s like losing a family member. It hasn’t really hit home yet to be honest.

“It sounds strange but you have a relationship with that equipment.

“Actual recording jobs are off the table for now so I will just have to build it up slowly again.”

The 38-year-old said the burglar reportedly ordered a taxi to take the stolen goods away from the road.

The studio had just been refurbished, costing them around £10,000 for the work to be carried out.

The burglar used power tools already stored in the building to cut a square hole in a door to gain access to the shop above.

Ms Barnard, 22, said: “I was absolutely heartbroken.

“We had a lot of the equipment we need to be a recording studio taken.”

The couple, who used to live in Brighton but now live in Henfield, hope to be able to claim back some of the money they have lost on insurance.

The items taken from the studio include a bright green optical compressor, a white Fender Squier Telecaster guitar, a black Fender acoustic guitar, microphones, synthesisers and other pieces of equipment.

Sussex Police said they are investigating both incidents.

Forensic officers attended the scene yesterday at around midday to look for evidence inside the premises.

Hartley’s staff were at the shop yesterday.

But they told The Argus they did not wish to comment on the incident.