COLNE: Vandals leave motor firm with £20,000 repair bill
BOSSES have slammed “mindless” vandals who wreaked havoc on a Colne company and left it with a repair bill for thousands of pounds.
Yobs broke into a secure compound off Skipton Road, owned by David Fishwick, damaging 39 vans and leaving a scene of devastation.
The incident is thought to have happened between noon on Saturday and Sunday evening.
Staff believe the damage to the minibuses and ambulances on site will cost between £15,000 and £20,000 to repair.
Workshop manager Mr Damien Chung said: “We are devastated by what has happened. It is lucky we are a successful business - if this had happened to a smaller firm it they could easily have gone under.”
The company, which supplies new and reconditioned vans, minibuses and minicoaches, uses the compound to store vehicles before they are taken to the workshop. The vandals broke in, smashing lights, windscreens, rear view mirrors and ripping out seats and radios.
They also attempted to pull out a wheelchair lift from the back of one of the ambulances and stole the first aid kits, emptying them at the back of the site.
Mr Chung said: “The vans are left unlocked so that if thieves break in they know there is nothing worth stealing. I just can’t see the reasoning behind what these people have done. They have smashed up the vans and caused all this damage for nothing.
“We are in a fortunate position as our business is strong, but this will still cost us and will leave us with a lot more work.”
David Fishwick is the UK’s fastest growing supplier of vans, minibuses and minicoaches, employing a large number of people in the area.
Mr Chung said: “We are happy to be based in Colne and intend to stay here. If we were to move it would have a huge impact on jobs - not only do we take on a lot of people we also use local businesses who carry out work for us. The people who caused this damage should have thought about this when they broke in.”
Police have launched an investigation into the incident and say they are following up a number of positive lines of inquiry.
Sgt Damian Pemberton, of Colne Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The people responsible have caused a substantial amount of damage and have cost the business thousands of pounds.
“We would urge anyone who saw anything or knows anything about the incident to contact us on 472441 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”