The hunt is on for a gang of burglars after a devastating £150,000 raid on two Lynn business.
Police are examining CCTV footage and forensics teams have gathered fingerprints after a haul of vans and equipment was stolen from specialist auto centre A Reeve Performance and neighbouring sign-writing company, All Signs, on the Hardwick Estate.
The gang used an angle-grinder to cut through a lock at the back of the premises in Oldmedow Road at about 5.10am on Monday – just days before the business owners were due to have an alarm fitted.
Items stolen from A Reeve Performance included specialist remapping and diagnostic equipment, tools and racing car tyres, valued at around £85,000, and three new Ford Custom Transit vans and computers, worth around £65,000, from All Signs.
James Smith, managing director of All Signs, said he will be able to recover his loss through insurance, but was still out of pocket by £2,500 a day in lost business while trying to sort everything out.
However, Aaron Reeve, who owns A Reeve Performance, was told his insurance company won’t pay out because the premises did not have an alarm.
Both businesses had moved to Oldmedow Road from Austin Fields at Christmas time, and were due to be having an alarm fitted today.
Mr Reeve said the future of his business now hangs in the balance, but he is refusing to be defeated.
“We will recover, I’m not going to be beaten by someone that can do this,” he said. “I’ve been in business three years next month and have built it up from scratch.
“It’s not just items built up over that time that they’ve taken either, I’ve lost tools I’ve had since I left school and tools that have been specially adapted for our own use.”
Mr Reeve is now offering a £1,000 reward for the return of his equipment and conviction of the burglars.
It is believed the gang targeted the premises purely for All Signs’ fleet of 20 Transit vans, which had only been delivered on site last Thursday, and then stumbled across the equipment at A Reeve Performance by chance.
Mr Smith said: “Whoever did this knew the vans had arrived and knew the building.
“If they could have found all 20 sets of van keys they would have taken them all. They came for the vans and unfortunately Aaron’s was bonus for them.”
Anyone with information on the burglary or the whereabouts of any of the equipment is urged to contact Lynn police station on 101 (calls 15p).