A businessman has been “overwhelmed” by public support after news of a £150,000 raid reached thousands of people through social media.
A post from Aaron Reeve on Facebook following the burglary at his specialist auto centre, A Reeve Performance, was shared by more than 200 people – and reached an audience of well over 30,000.
The stolen haul of specialist equipment and tools from the firm on Lynn’s Hardwick Industrial Estate last Monday left Mr Reeve facing closure as the lack of an alarm system meant his insurance company refused to pay out.
But thanks to support in the wake of the raid – including a £50,000 online fundraising campaign – he said A Reeve Performance was getting back on track.
“It has been overwhelming just to know that the support is there,” said Mr Reeve.
“It’s crazy how, with social media, things go viral and people all around the world get to hear about what happened.
“It has meant some good has been able to come out of it, and the support restores your faith in people.”
Friends, car enthusiasts, fellow businesses and customers have all rallied together to help Mr Reeve, and he even received a letter of support from North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, who told him to get in touch if he could help in any way.
An online fundraising page has also been set up, with a target of raising £50,000.
Anyone wanting to make a donation should log on to: http://gogetfunding.com/project/support-for-aaron-reeve
Others have also donated tools to enable the business to carry on as best it can.
Mr Reeve said: “In the last week I’ve ramped up the security on the premises ten-fold; I couldn’t ever have anything like this happen to me again.
“We are fully functioning again now. Some jobs are taking a little longer than normal because of the tools, but we’re getting there.”
The burglary happened at 5.10am last Monday, when a gang used an angle-grinder to cut through a lock at the back of the premises in Oldmedow Road.
Items stolen included specialist remapping and diagnostic equipment, tools and racing car tyres, worth around £85,000.
The burglars also stole three new Ford Custom Transit vans and computers, worth £65,000, from neighbouring signwriting company, All Signs.
Both businesses had moved to Oldmedow Road from Austin Fields at Christmas time, and were due to have an alarm fitted on Friday – just four days after the raid.
Mr Reeve, who built up his business from scratch three years ago, is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the return of his equipment and conviction of the burglars.
He also said the equipment would be “useless” to the criminals as the diagnostics had been switched off.
Anyone with information on the burglary or whereabouts of any of the equipment is urged to contact Lynn police station on 101.