Erotic lingerie outfitter Ann Summers is offering a £15,000 reward for the return of stolen computer equipment and information leading to the arrest of the thieves.
Thousands of pounds of vital equipment, including mail servers, was stolen from parent company Gold Group International's Surrey offices last Monday.
David Gold, joint chairman of the group, is putting up £5,000 for the safe return of the computer equipment and £10,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the criminals responsible for the operation.
The company said that the theft was carefully planned in order to "paralyse the Ann Summers operations". Unlike normal computer thefts, the equipment had no street value and would be of no use to anyone but the Gold Group.
The system is tailor made to support the company's 54 retail outlets, the 7,500-strong party plan network and the annsummers.com website.
An Ann Summers spokeswoman said that the thieves were "successful for a few hours in bringing down our internal systems, including email, but fortunately we had back-up systems".
She added that the company was not giving out exact details about the nature of the IT equipment stolen, but maintained that no databases with customer details had been taken.
The theft "did not affect our retail or online operations, only our internal operations", explained the spokeswoman.
Sergeant Nick Bush, of Surrey Police, said that the force had no direct leads so far on where the computers had gone or who was responsible.
Ann Summers explained that there was no link with gangs which have been targeting companies' Sun Microsystems servers.
Anyone with information should contact 01883 629 279.
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