AN electrician whose van was broken into for the second time in six weeks says he has “lost all faith in humanity”.
Mark Hughes, 29, who runs Current Electrical Solutions from his home in Greys Road, Henley, discovered the break-in as he was about to set off for work on Tuesday last week.
The back doors of the Peugeot Expert had been forced open with a crowbar and the padlock removed.
Luckily, nothing was taken as Mr Hughes stores his tools in his house after an almost identical incident in October when about £2,000 worth of equipment was stolen and repairs to the the vehicle cost £500.
“I’m assuming it was the same people as last time,” said Mr Hughes. “The back door was smashed up in the same way with a crowbar and they broke the padlock so I couldn’t get into the back of the van.
“When I saw it I was in disbelief. I never imagined they would do it again.
“They obviously don’t have anything better to do with their lives. I’ve lost all faith in humanity. Luckily, I take my tools in every night now so they didn’t take anything. However, it’s going to cost me about £450 to repair the van.”
Mr Hughes set up his business in 2011 and earlier this year came third in the UK Worker of the Year awards at a ceremony in Reading.
But he says the break-ins have demoralised him and mean he is “working for nothing” as he tries to recoup the cost of repairing his van twice.
Mr Hughes said: “I got £1,500 back from the insurance company for the last break-in which covered the majority of the tools but I was still out of pocket from fixing the van.
“It’s money I can’t afford and a massive inconvenience. I’ve spent more than £900 repairing the van twice and lost about £500 of materials.I’ll need a good three days’ work to cover the cost of this break-in and it’s just another setback.”
Mr Hughes plans to install CCTV cameras outside his house to deter burglars and is also investigating the possibility of renting a lock-up for his van at night.
He said: “I’m looking for a shed or garage but everything I’ve seen is so costly,” he said.
“I asked the police if they could do more patrols but I don’t think they can because they are short staffed.”
Police have carried out door-to-door enquiries in Greys Road but none of Mr Hughes’ neighbours was able to provide any information.
After the last break-in, when power tools and electrical testing equipment were stolen, one of the neighbours reported having heard a commotion between 12.30am and 1am but thought it was just drunk people outside.
Anyone with information should call Thames Valley Police via the non-emergency number of 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
* The registration plates were stolen from a BMW 315 parked in Grove Road, Henley, during the night of November 27. Police said professional tools had been used by the thieves.