A CAMPER van was used to ram raid a Rawtenstall car dealership.

Police said the vehicle was driven through metal shutter doors into the showroom of J A Taylor Car Sales, Bury New Road, at 7.05pm on Saturday.

The two occupants of the van, believed to have been stolen, then unsuccessfully attempted to take a vehicle from the showroom.

A police spokesman said: “They tried to start one of the vehicles ins-ide, but have failed to do so. They then left the scene in the camper van, which was found aban-doned nearby.”

The garage, which has operated for more than 50 years, specialises in new and used Fords.

Rawtenstall county councillor Tony Winder said: “I’m friends with the proprietor of the business affected and I know that they have worked very hard over the last 20 or 30 years to make it successful.

“It’s so difficult for people to make a living in the current trading clim-ate and so it’s the dis-ruption to the business that I’m worried about.

“It sounds as if most of the damage was done to the shutters leading into the showroom. It should-n’t take them long to get up and running again.

“At least nobody was injured in the incident. I imagine that the camper van isn’t in very good shape now though.

“It is a wholly inappropriate vehicle to try to do something like this with.

“It seems the camper van could have been stolen and I’m concerned that somebody else as well as the proprietor will suffer financially because of this crime.”

No-one from the garage was available for comment yesterday.