A brazen ram raider hacked through gates just after closing time at a Sleaford family business and made off with thousands of pounds worth of power tools.
Now bosses at Drayton Welding on Woodbridge Road industrial estate have been counting the cost in time and repairs, as well as lost stock since the Wednesday night break in.
The business’s CCTV clearly shows the intruder pulling up outside the locked compound in a small white Ford Connect van before boldly taking out a battery powered angle grinder to carve his way through one gate before chopping through the padlock to open both and driving the van in to ram the roller shutter doors.
The footage even shows him pausing while vehicles pass by as people left work and it is hoped someone may have seen him or the vehicle to give police more information.
It is suspected that a woman was with him in the passenger seat but she could not be seen clearly.
Walter Drayton said the raider must have waited for him to lock up at 5.45pm before moving in just 15 minutes later. He said: “He cuts through the front railings and then went back to his van to change the disk blade and then climbed through to cut off the lock on the inside. Opening the gates he then backed his van into the roller shutters and helped himself to power tools in stock.
“By 6.15pm the alarm people rang me and I was there in five minutes but he had gone.
“We are finishing a stock take but estimate to have lost between £15,000 and £20,000 in power tools.”
The intruder went for some of the most expensive Milwaukee tools, tossing them down from the mezzanine floor store room to the warehouse floor below before loading them up. Several damaged tool cases were left scattered on the floor.
the firm had been exhibiting at the LAMMA farm machinery show in Peterborough and so a lot of stock was off site or they fear they could have lost more.
Mr Drayton said: “I had to board the door up on Wednesday night and then spend hours the following day welding the door up to get some security again. We managed to bash it back into shape and the front gate is back in place.
“I lost half a day’s production and there was all the messing about afterwards with the police.”
They have passed CCTV footage on to detectives.
Mr drayton described the man as about six feet tall, wearing a baseball cap, blue bomber jacket and tracksuit bottoms.
He said: “We have to keep going as a lot of industries rely on what we supply for them.
“It was totally out of the blue. With the security we have got it makes you wonder what you have to do. He obviously watched me lock up.
Lincolnshire Police appeal to anyone with information to contact them on 101 referring to incident 393 of January 17.