Burglars ransack garage business
A GARAGE owner refuses to be defeated by criminals who ransacked his business and stole more than £30,000 worth of equipment.
Vincent Thorne, who owns The Arches Service Centre Ltd, was horrified to receive a phone call during the middle of the night from a customer telling him his business had been burgled.
Burglars cut locks, forced shutters open and smashed a window to gain access to the garage in Railway Arches, Turner Street, Bolton, between Sunday evening and about 2am on Monday.
Specialist equipment used by mechanics was among tools and a laptop stolen. The burglars also disabled the alarm system.
Mr Thorne, aged 41, who runs the business with his wife Lesley, said: “This could write us off as a company. I don’t know who has done this but it looks like they have tried to put us out of business.
“We have had the business for 11 years and we have never had anything like this happen before. We have got busier and busier and other people are suffering.”
The safe was opened and about £1,200 was taken — money had only been left at the business as Mr Thorne was on holiday last week and would usually have put the cash in the bank.
The father-of-two said despite the huge loss to the company all staff members turned up and even brought in their own tools so they did not have to let any customers down.
Other garages have also helped the 11 staff members.
Air guns, diagnostic equipment have also been taken.
Mr Thorne has had to spent more than £4,000 from his savings on tools to keep the business going until the insurance company pays out, which could take months.
He added: “A lot of the stuff taken is specialised but a lot of the hand tools would be pretty simple to off load. It’s an unwritten rule for mechanics not to buy anything offered to you like that as you know it’s someone’s livelihood being hit.”
The burglary comes as a blow to the firm, which was named as a finalist in Motor Codes’ garage of the year awards.
Police are investigating. Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers, anonymously, or the police on 101.
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