SWEET-TOOTHED thieves stole £30,000 worth of machinery from a Blackburn confectionary factory.
The burglars broke into Stockley’s Sweets, on the Shadsworth Business Park, and took five rostaplast forming die rollers, which are worth £3,000 each and 15 sets of drop rollers, which would fetch £1,000 each, in a night raid.
The machinery, which is made of steel and brass, creates the shapes of classic sweets like cola cubes and lemon drops.
General manager Phil Lawson said it would take up to a month to replace the items.
He said: “We have got replacement machines but it means we cannot make some sweets for a month.
“The burglary has made us feel very vulnerable.
“We are going to buy concrete blocks to stop people getting in.”
A police investigation into the burglary, which happened at 9.10pm on Thursday, has been launched and CCTV inquiries are underway.
It is understood two men were involved.
Mr Lawson appealed to anybody who might be offered the sweet rollers for scrap metal to get in touch with officers.
He said: “If anybody is offered any scrap metal they should go to the police.
“The rollers are worth a lot more to us than they are as scrap.”
He said the company used the rollers to make traditional sweets, some of which are sent as far away as Australia.
The manager said: “Older fashioned sweets have come back into popularity.
“Retro and nostalgic things are popular and we supply into a lot of independent sweet shops.”
Among the new tasty treats being created at the Duttons Way factory are Brazilian orange and Champagne-flavoured sweets.
A police spokeswoman also appealed for anybody with information to come forward.
She said: “A report came into us that equipment from containers within the unit had been stolen.
“Damage has also been caused to the fence.
“We are looking into it and I would urge anybody with information to contact us.”
Witnesses can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.