Ram raiders take thousands

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Ram raiders smashed their way into a business and made off with thousands of pounds worth of tools.

James Matthews, owner of MOT company Autoserv in Ackworth, said he fears having to shut the business down after the second break-in in six months.

The latest incident saw burglars drive a van into garage doors of the Wakefield Road premises at around 2.30am on May 23.

Police said the raiders then used the van to escape.

Mr Matthews, who has run the company for almost 10 years, was already counting the cost of a burglary in December, when a safe containing thousands of pounds in cash and cheques was taken, along with a set of car keys.

He said: “We’ve been done over twice now. It’s getting really bad round here.

“It never used to be like this.”

Mr Mathews said the break-ins were causing his insurance premium to rise.

He added: “The tools were worth three or four thousand pounds. But it’s more the affect on the business.

“Something needs to be done in this area. If it keeps happening we’re going to be shutting down.”

The December burglary at Autoserv was one of a string of raids at nearby businesses which saw money and equipment stolen.

Those targeted included the Esso fuel station on Wakefield Road, the Bargain Booze off-licence opposite and garden machinery company JC Powerco Ltd on nearby Barnsley Road.

West Yorkshire Police said three men aged 27 and a 25-year-old male were arrested on suspicion burglary following the May 23 incident and released pending further enquiries.

A police spokeswoman said: “It occurred at around 2.30am, when the suspects are believed to have gained entry to the property by driving a van into the garage door of the premises, causing damage to it.

“The suspects made off with a quantity of tools from inside the premises and left the scene in the van. Enquiries remain ongoing into the incident.

“Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting crime reference 13170232162.”