THIEVES have stolen thousands of pounds of luxury towels from a company during two raids less than two weeks apart.

Bosses at the family-run Lancashire Towel Company, in Nelson said towels worth more than £4,000 were taken from the Hallam Road premises.


One line taken, a natural bamboo fibre towel, is unique and only sold by the firm.

Traders and customers are now being urged to report any sightings of the towels up for sale in shops or markets.

Nelson councillor David Whalley described the raids as 'disappointing' and said he would be raising the matter with police.

Owners Peter and Jane Hobson said thieves first struck over the New Year period, with the burglary only discovered when they returned to work on January 2.

The second break-in only occurred on Saturday night after the locks were forced at their premises, police said.

Mr Hobson said: "The two lines which have been taken are fairly distinctive and one of them is unique to our company.

"The bamboo fibre towels are imported solely by us so we are the only people to sell them.

"The other is a linen friction towel, which has quite stiff piling, which we import in from northern Europe.

"I would say we have possibly lost in the region of £4,000 worth of stock. That is the cost price but they would have retailed for much more.

"In the past we've been quite lucky really. I can only recall a couple of burglaries in all the time we were in Barrowford and this is the first time anything has happened since we moved to Nelson."

The intruders also took an old wooden till, some electrical equipment and even sachets of coffee, police said.

Mr Hobson said that although the unit was secured after the first burglary, it may have been deliberately targeted before the second attack.

He said: "Our daughter Jen has been helping us with an online appeal.

"She is much better at that sort of thing, and we've been having a word with a couple of market traders we know, to be on the lookout."

Several other lines are still available, at their Manor Mill base, but staff are advising customers that the bamboo and linen friction range, as they difficult to source, will be unavailable for now.

The heavy-duty linen friction towels, made out of 70 per cent linen and 30 per cent cotton, sell for £12.

And the bamboo fibre towels, usually sold in bales of five for around £65, are made in Turkey and are said to be three times as absorbent as their cotton equivalents.

Mr Hobson has been in the towel trade since 1975, initially in manufacturing but latterly in sales.

He has run the business with wife Jane, initially at Park Mill in Barrowford, before relocating to Nelson a few years ago, in advance of Booth's supermarket being built on the old site.

Jen's Facebook message reads: "Please could I ask you to keep an eye out on online buy and sells, car boots and on local markets to see if any luxury towels are suddenly being sold when they weren't previously.

"If you see anything which might be what I'm talking about please get in touch or take photos and send them to me.

"My dad knows his products inside out.

"Thousands of pounds worth of stock were taken from the first break-in alone."

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "The offenders have managed to remove a padlock from the front door of the premises and once inside conducted a tidy search of the premises before stealing a number of linen and bamboo fibre towels, along with some cappuccino and mocha coffee sachets, before making off from the scene."

Anyone with information should call police on 101.