OUT OF POCKET: Ollie Smith and Henry Beeney, of B&S Builders, had £5,000 tools taken from inside their van in Doric Avenue
A BUILDER from Tunbridge Wells who was left more than £5,000 out of pocket when tools were stolen from his van believes an organised gang are responsible.
On Friday a van owned by B&S Builders, run by Ollie Smith and his partner Henry Beeney, 41, was broken into while it was parked on Doric Avenue in Southborough.
Some £5,000 worth of power tools were taken in a matter of minutes but despite the theft being caught on CCTV, Mr Smith is disappointed the people responsible have not been caught.
The 37-year-old said: "I turned up to work and went out to the van and noticed it had been completely emptied.
"We have lost in excess of £5,000 of tools we built up over ten to 15 years. They took tools and power tools.
"It was an organised operation. They were in and out in 15 minutes."
Mr Smith believes the crime spree will hit other businesses.
"These aren't just scallywags running around trying to nick whatever they can, this is organised crime. I think it is being stolen to order and sold abroad but that is just speculation," he said.
"There are number plate recognition cameras on London Road and that's where they turned in from, if it (the thieves' vehicle) is insured there will be documents relating to it.
"In our trade tools can't really be claimed on insurance.
"We had to spend £3,000 on tools on Monday morning just to go to work, which doesn't scratch the surface of what we lost."