Wood recycling base hit by 'idiot' thieves
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 October 2010
thieves ransacked the offices of a Weston organisation before making off with thousands of pounds worth of vital equipment.
Devastated staff and volunteers at Somerset Wood Recycling are desperately trying to claw back lost time after a ‘smash and grab’ at their premises temporarily stopped their work.
Thieves raided their Oldmixon Crescent base on the afternoon of October 17 and smashed down a plasterboard wall to gain access to the offices.
They threw contents around the room, before stealing the keys to a new van and ramming it through a set of iron security gates.
The men drilled a hole into a safe but could not gain access, and took another safe which was recovered later that day.
Between 20 and 30 tools were stolen, and the total damage and theft has cost the organisation around £15,000.
Project manager Tristan Tudor said: “It was such a shock. The place looked like it had been turned upside down. It was complete carnage.”
The not-for-profit social enterprise was set up in 2007 to re-use and recycle waste wood.
It offers volunteering, training and employment opportunities to people from the area who are long-term unemployed or who have mental health issues.
Mr Tudor added: “Everyone is really disappointed. We had to send people home the day after it happened because most of the tools had gone and the workshop can’t function without them.
“We were working on four big projects which have been put back about four weeks now, and we just hope people will understand.”
Manager Jim Bartlett added: “The people who did this are idiots. They caused so much damage for such a little theft.”
The organisation has ordered in new tools but is currently only working with a third of the usual amount of equipment.
The stolen van was reportedly spotted being driven around the Bournville estate after the break-in and was found in Searle Crescent.
Police say no arrests have yet been made and investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to ring police on 0845 456 7000.
n Three youths, aged 15, 16 and 17, were arrested this week on suspicion of burglary and have been released on police bail.