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Burglary spree will force Darwen computer firm to close
BURGLARS broke into a number of businesses in a crime spree that will cost firms thousands.
The owner of a laptop retailer and repairer in Robin Bank Road, Darwen, said he will be forced to close after at least 63 laptops were stolen from his shop.
And three connected commercial units, one of which is vacant, in Goose House Lane were also broken into with expensive equipment stolen and one of them set on fire.
Police are linking the incidents which happened sometime on Tuesday night into yesterday morning.
Crime Scene Investigation officers were on hand at both sites, which were taped off as investigations were carried out yesterday.
Burglars at each scene used heavy equipment to break in through rear fire doors to gain access.
John Foster, who owns the laptop business in Robin Bank Road, said he had lost at least £15,000 of stock.
He said: “They have taken everything. It has put me out of business. I will be leaving the unit now and going mobile in laptop repairs.
“I have lost 63 laptops that I know of. It is at least £15,000 and probably more. They have managed to break in through a really powerful steel door and have ripped out the phone lines so the alarms didn’t go off.
“I have been here 13 years but I’ve had four break-ins in the past 10 years. I just can’t carry on after all that.”
At Goose House Lane, building firm Shorrocks Developments lost a large amount of equipment and power tools and the office was set on fire, while Stephen Walmsley Building and Roofing Contractors lost at least two laptops.
Shorrocks Developments owner Andrew Shorrocks said: “I got rid of my van on Tuesday so I had taken all the power tools out and put them in the unit so I have been really unlucky.
“They have prized the doors open at the back and nicked all of my power tools and torched the office.
“I got a call at 7.10am to say the fire brigade was here. I have only been here for six or seven months but I think I will be coming out.
“I’d say this will cost at least £10,000.”
Detective Constable Nicola Mason from Blackburn CID asked anyone who may have witnessed anythin suspicious in the area to come forward.
“We are talking about thousands of pounds worth of items stolen and this will have a devastating effect on the owners of both businesses,” she said.
“Our specialist magpie officer will be keeping an eye out in order to try and trace some of the items. I would urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”
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