A WEEKEND raid on three garage premises in Broomfield Industrial Estate has resulted in the theft of highly saleable equipment valued in excess of £8,000.
The premises affected were Charleton Garage, Broomfield Motors and JTP Autos.
Between 4.30pm on January 28, and 9.20am the following day, thieves smashed their way into the garages and made off with items such as tyres, diagnostic machines, and computer items.
It is possible that the criminals were at work around 1am, as witnesses heard a commotion in the area then.
The raiders were able to disable CCTV equipment in the area by turning the cameras to face away, and actually stole some items relating to CCTV including recording equipment.
A car and a dark Transit van were in the area during the time that the thefts were taking place.
Worst hit was the Charleton Garage, where goods totalling some £5,000 were taken, including pneumatic air guns for blowing up tyres, and also a laptop.
The owner of the garage, David Adams, said that he has a taxi office in the vicinity, and his operator heard noise and saw a dark Transit van coming from the area of the thefts.
He said that various people were seen exiting it, and heading for a car parked near the taxi office.
As a consequence of the raid Mr Adams has installed significant new security precautions at his premises, including a new metal gate.
He told the Review that police have since approached him regarding some tyres that they had come across but, sadly, they were not the same make as those he had lost.
Broomfield Motors lost around £3,000 worth of property which included a diagnostic machine and computer chipped car keys.
And at JTP Autos a sum of cash thought to be around £300 was taken.
Police ask anyone who has information on the thefts to contact them on 0300 111 2222 or speak to any police officer.