Burglars escaped with bin bags of clothing along the glass rooftop of The Old Arcade in Halifax town centre.
They left a trail of garments in their wake as they fled - and risked plunging onto the concrete flags below.
Second floor shops were left damaged by the raiders.
It is believed they entered the stairway by Christian Scott Hairdressing and hid in a storeroom until the units emptied.
Second floor businesses Aluna Boutique, BB Shoes, and Luka Second Floor Beauty, were then targeted.
The burglars would have found their entry route blocked due to the locking of a metal gate.
It is known that tools were removed from the loft of the building and they settled on an escape route via a high window in BB Shoes.
They smashed the window and clambered out before scrambling along the bottom of the glass roofing and down a fire escape to flee at the other end of the arcade down Russell Street.
Jane Agus, of Aluna Boutique, believes she was targeted.
She lost 62 pieces of her own branded designed clothing worth around £1,500 during last Friday night’s raid - clothing which was unique to her shop.
It was packed into bin bags taken from the shop and the premises where trashed.
Beth Billington, of BB Shoes, also lost footwear and £350 cash.
Only the second floor business premises suffered damage.
“There was a trail of clothes on the glass arcade and it looks like they went down the fire escape,” she said.
“It’s quite scary to think they might have hid while we were in the building.”
Mrs Agus said it had been an unsettling experience for the victims.
“It’s quite frightening to think someone can come up and break into your shop on the second floor,” she said.
She started making her own garments and re-working others at the end of May.
“I had just been thinking I had ‘turned the corner’ as people were ringing up for orders and asking me to make them things and then there’s a smack like this,” she said.
“It’s heartbreaking and now I’m left thinking should I work from home where I will be safer.”
Security is being stepped up at the premises and police inquiries are continuing into the crime today.
Officers from Halifax Central Neighbourhood Policing Team appealed for witnesses after the raids overnight between 5.30pm on November 8 and 9am on November 9.
They said two other premises on the ground floor were also damaged in the incident.
Police would like to speak to anyone who saw suspects behaving suspiciously in the building shortly before closing or running away from the centre carrying a number of items of clothing.
Anyone who has information or who is offered clothing in suspicious circumstances is asked to contact the Halifax Central Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.