Friday, 20 October 2017

Catalytic converters taken in night-time raids

BURGLARS stole stock potentially worth thousands of pounds after raiding Woods Wines in Nuffield.

BURGLARS stole stock potentially worth thousands of pounds after raiding Woods Wines in Nuffield.

The theft took place at about 12.15am on Saturday (Jan 3) at its warehouse at Hayden Farm.

The offenders cut out a mortise lock from the doors to gain entry and stole wine and champagne.

James Stuart, a partner in the business, said the offenders had initially tried to steal a catalytic converter from one the company’s new refrigerated food delivery vans used by its sister company Blackwoods Foods.

They had only just paid £30,000 for the Mercedes Sprinter on Friday.



Mr Stuart told the Henley Standard: “They failed to steal the converter so they rammed it from behind into one of our other vehicles, another Mercedes Sprinter.

“There was considerable damage to the back of the new Mercedes.”

Mr Stuart said the vehicle had now been sent away to be repaired but expected the damage to run into several thousand pounds.

After the alarm sounded five police vehicles attended the scene, including a dog unit, and Mr Stuart praised their response time.

He arrived at 12.45am and said he was confronted by “devastation”.

He explained: “You drive in and see your brand new pride and joy smashed up in the yard. It’s just shock really that someone could violate your property like this.

“It’s not going to stop the business from functioning,” he added.

A forensics officer also attended the farm on Saturday morning to dust for fingerprints.

At H&H Distribution Ltd, in the Watlington Industrial Estate, burglars targeted a further two Mercedes Sprinter vans.

Neil Hollis, a director of the storage and distribution firm, said one of the converters was stolen by the thieves smashing the quarterlight window on the passenger side and reaching inside to pop the bonnet to then gain access to it.

They failed to make off with the second converter and Mr Hollis believed they may have been disturbed.

He said the business was targeted on either Saturday or Sunday night and they were currently studying CCTV footage from other businesses on the estate to establish when the incident happened.

The vehicles were used for delivering palletised goods and Mr Hollis said there had been an impact on service levels after he had to find two other vehicles for his employees to drive.

Forensic officers also attended the scene.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the incidents should contact Thames Valley Police on 101.



Ends

THOUSANDS of pounds’ worth of stock was stolen in a raid at a wine merchants.

The burglary was one of three at the weekend where the criminals also targeted catalytic converters on delivery vans and it’s thought they may be linked.

The raid on Woods Wines happened at about 12.15am on Saturday when its warehouse at Hayden Farm in Nuffield was broke into.

The raiders cut out a mortice lock from the doors to gain entry and stole bottles of wine and champagne.

They also tried to steal a catalytic converter from one of the company’s new refrigerated food delivery vans used by its sister company Blackwoods Foods. The £30,000 Mercedes Sprinter was only paid for on Friday.

James Stuart, a partner in the business, said: “They failed to steal the converter so they rammed the van into another Mercedes Sprinter. There was considerable damage to the back of the new van.”

The vehicle has been sent away to be repaired and the bill is expected to run into several thousand pounds. The intruders had fled by the time police, who were responding to the automatic alarm, arrived in five vehicles, including the dog unit.

Mr Stuart arrived at 12.45am and said he was confronted by a scene of devastation.

He said: “You drive in and see your brand new pride and joy smashed up in the yard. It’s just shock really that someone could violate your property like this.”

He added: “It’s not going to stop the business from functioning.” A police forensics officer attended the scene later on Saturday to check for fingerprints.

Meanwhile, two Mercedes Sprinter vans were targeted by burglars who broke into H&H Distribution on the Watlington industrial estate some time during Saturday or Sunday night.

A converter was stolen from one of the delivery vehicles after the raiders smashed the quarterlight window on the passenger side and reached inside to pop the bonnet open.

They failed to access the device on the other van.

Neil Hollis, a director of the storage and distribution firm, said the crooks may have been disturbed. He is studying CCTV footage from other businesses on the estate to try to establish exactly when the raid happened.

He said the company’s operation has been affected as he had to find two other vehicles to be make deliveries.

Police said four more catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles at the Van Alloys industrial estate off Busgrove Lane, Stoke Row, some time over the weekend.

Thames Valley Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to call the force’s enquiry centre on 101.

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