A ram-raid on a Wigan tool store that sparked a charity campaign to save it has turned out to be one of many in the borough.
Since the Wigan Post revealed that Alpha Hire in Hindley had been plundered and the public rallied round thereafter, it has emerged that several other similar attacks have been launched against borough businesses in the last two months.
Alpha Hire is a family tool hire firm that was launched by Mark Thompson 15 years ago, and on bonfire weekend the premises front was stoved in by a group of masked men with a vehicle.
The store’s shutters and brickwork were demolished, and expensive saws were just some of the items stolen.
However, Alpha Hire is not the only store to be subject to a ram-raid.
National tool hire stores One Stop Hire and Speedy Hire have all had their Wigan depots ram raided recently.
A One Stop Hire Wigan was ram raided on Tuesday November 6 in similar circumstances to Alpha Hire, which was only three days earlier.
A One Stop Hire spokesperson said: “Over the last couple of months tool hire companies across Wigan have been targeted by thieves.
“The thieves turn up, usually in stolen vehicles in the early evenings and ram through the shops’ roller shutter doors using all sorts of devices.
“Once in the property they target the lighter tools, fill the vehicles and speed off.
“Including ourselves we know of eight other raids on various hire shops in Wigan.”
Despite these recurring raids, we are told that police are treating the raids as a “low level crime”
Clear CCTV footage and images have been released of a group of men reversing a van into One Stop Hire’s shutter, before taking as much as they could and driving away.
A spokesperson for SpeedyHire said: “Following the incident, Speedy have increased security measures including providing additional ram-raid posts, and improved security lighting outside the building.
“We are working with the local police force who have attended the incident and offered advice and support.”
Anyone with information about any of the raids is asked to contact police on 101 or the freephone Crimestoppers line anonymous on 0800 555111.