Published: March 12, 2009
£80,000 raid 'devastates' Highbridge sign manufacturing company

Thieves stole tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment from a Highbridge sign-making company in a raid early on Thursday (March 12th).

A van, computers, tools and other high-value equipment was stolen when the thieves broke a window, pictured above, to gain entry to Bespoke Signs in Commercial Way on the Walrow Industrial Estate.

Owner Steve Elton, pictured, told on Thursday morning: "We're all completely devastated. They have taken anything that had any value whatsoever."

"About four tonnes of aluminium extrusion material has been taken, along with lots of specialised tools and computer equipment - effectively putting us out of business."

"We've had to turn away several customers this morning and I do wonder whether we'll be able to recover from this. Seven jobs could now be in jeopardy."

"Even several tubs of coffee and sugar have been stolen - it's just sickening."

The registration number of the firm's white Volkswagen van, which was stolen during the break-in, is WJ54XRU and Mr Elton urged anyone who sees the vehicle to contact police via the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

He added that among the items stolen was a metal engraving made up of melted coins found beneath Weston Pier after last summer's fire.

"It was due to be auctioned off in aid of the blood bikes, but has now gone as well," he said.

The company is well-known for its work with local charitable and worthy causes - and this is now in jeopardy.

Mr Elton praised local scrap dealers and merchants for their offers of help on Thursday morning following the raid. "People have already begun to rally round with help, which we are very grateful for. It will take a long time to get over this," he added.

The total value of the property taken is in the region of £80,000. The break-in occurred between Wednesday 11th March and Thursday 12th March, between 6pm and 8am.

Our photos show Mr Elton holding the broken window, through which the thieves gained entry, and standing outside the property


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