Businessman Gary Lynch was in bed when his van was broken into in the middle of the night Thieves were caught on CCTV appearing to steal the tools
Gary Lynch is furious after thieves stole £5,000 of tools used to create children’s play areas.
The 50-year-old, who owns Lets Play UK, was dismayed to discover his van had been broken into in the middle of the night.
CCTV footage from outside Gary’s house in Lightwood shows two men approach the vehicle in the early hours of Sunday before stealing a £3,000 hydraulic breaker and other tools over the space of 40 minutes.
Now police are reviewing the footage as they try to catch the culprits.
Gary, of Lightwood Road, said: “I reversed my car out from my drive about 10.45am on Sunday and I noticed that some of my tools were scattered on my driveway.
“It was obvious what had happened. I opened the side door and I noticed that my hydraulic breaker was missing along with power tools, cordless drills, stihl saw and angle grinder.
“I rang the police and I went back into the house to view the CCTV. At around 3:30am two men walked across the road to my home and then disappeared behind
“A few minutes later one came around to the side door and lifted the generator out and some smaller tools and then one guy came to help lift the hydraulic breaker out.
“Both of them then looked up at the CCTV camera pointing right at them before one of them smashed it. On the other camera it showed the two guys walking back up the road away from the house. The cameras failed to pick up most of it because of where the van was placed.”
Gary is now considering closing his business fitting play areas because of the cost of replacing the tools and the fear it may happen again.
He said: “The breaker alone is worth £3,000 and in total it could cost me up to £5,000 to replace all of the equipment.
“I employ three other people and at the moment I’m contemplating calling it a day. It took me 20 years to build this business up and someone’s taken it away within 40 minutes. I’m so angry with it all.
“I’m worried that the two lads might come back and try to get the computer that the cameras were hooked up to. It’s scary to know that people have been at the bottom of my drive going through my things.”
Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We received a call from Mr Lynch just after 11am on September 17 reporting that his van had been broken into and tools had been stolen overnight.
“It was explained to Mr Lynch that, due to the heightened national security level following the recent terrorist attack in London, we were only able to deal with 999 emergencies on Sunday.
“An officer attended Mr Lynch's home on Monday to take a statement and collect CCTV footage.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 254 of September 17.