Hunt for aquatics store raiders

Amazon Aquatics at Welch Mill in Leigh - owner Mark Edmondson
Amazon Aquatics at Welch Mill in Leigh - owner Mark Edmondson

A BUSINESSMAN is appealing for help after raiders smashed their way into his premises and stole a substantial amount of cash.

Mark Edmondson, who owns wholesalers Amazon Aquatics, hopes the public can help bring to justice those responsible for the burglary, in which personal items were stolen as well as cash and the premises suffered heavy damage.

The offenders forced their way through five doors, including a metal roller shutter and an iron gate, to get into the store in Leigh, at around midnight on Sunday.

The robbers also removed the CD drive from the CCTV tapes and ripped the alarm off the wall during the incident, which lasted less than 10 minutes in total.

Staff at the business, which has been at Welch Mill since 2005, were able to clear up some of the mess and resume trading, but an angry Mark now hopes someone may have seen the incident or suspicious behaviour in the area near the mill around that time.

He said: “I can’t help be frustrated and upset when somebody can just take a big chunk of money we are working very hard for within 10 minutes. This is usually a secure area so we’re also a bit baffled by it. The repairs have already come to about £1,000 for the doors, and we’ve also had an alarm fitted that rings the police and are having an extra iron door.

“As a business we’re doing reasonably well but in this climate it’s a setback for us.

“We were hoping to start rebuilding part of the shop but that’s going to have to wait a few weeks now.

“Everyone’s been very kind to us and has been upset when they’ve heard about the robbery, and quite a few shops who we sell to have offered us help.”

Police have launched an investigation into the break-in.

Mark said: “It’s not just about the money, we would like the personal items which were stolen back.

“I think they must have had a 4x4 or a van, because there were items taken which were too heavy to fit in a normal-sized car or taken away on foot.

“It was only at midnight and the mill isn’t far from the centre of Leigh, so if anyone saw anything it would be a big help if they contacted the police.”

Anyone with information can call the police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.