Tree surgery business in Middleton suffers major setback after thieves steal £7,000 worth of tools
A small business has suffered a major setback after thieves targeted a large supply of tools, just days before Christmas.
The intruders broke into a business unit based on a farm in Middleton, which is leased by Bateman & Brown Tree Surgery.
Sara Tomlinson, whose partner Charlie Brown runs the business, said the couple were devastated to find up to £7,000 of tools had been stolen from the unit in the early hours of Friday and Saturday.
“It was a professional job,” she said. “They trashed the place and had gone through all the offices; they stole scrap metal from the owner.”
Having been burgled four times in the last few years, Ms Tomlinson, of Cross Street, Sudbury, said the latest incident had taken its toll on the business.
“It has a massive impact,” she said.
“The last four years, we have been struggling financially.
“Being a small business, we can’t survive every year if we are having thousands of pounds worth of tools stolen.”
Having been burgled at their previous business unit in Bulmer Lane, the couple decided to relocate.
Following the latest incident, Ms Tomlinson is urging people in the area to remain vigilant.
“I think local people need to be aware that these people are around and they need to be safe,” she said, adding that the couple have been left dumbfounded by the amount of burglaries.
“We moved from Lewisham in South London to be safe,” said Ms Tomlinson, 37. “We never got burgled there, and now it seems fine for people to do it here.”
Established four years ago, the business has been hindered by the break-ins, having been forced to replace its stolen items after each incident.
“People need to realise that we are not well-off,” said Ms Tomlinson. “We are a start-up business trying to employ people in the town, but we can’t keep going if people keep stealing from us.”
Ms Tomlinson said it was heartbreaking that the incident had also impacted the couple’s two younger children, aged two and three.
“It’s Christmas time and they have had to see their dad so upset,” she added. “As a family, it’s devastating.”
Anyone with any information which could assist police with their inquiries should call 101.
More by this authorPriya Kingsley-Adam