September 19 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, July 12, 2014
The director of a business providing mobility scooters for the disabled has described how he has felt “punch drunk” since finding his company had been ransacked by thieves.
Michael Lockwood, director of South Norfolk Mobility Centre, arrived for work at the firm’s Oakwood Industrial Estate office at Snetterton at 7.45am on Thursday to find the back door had been smashed in using a crow bar and five mobility scooters stolen from within.
An internal office door was also broken to enable the raiders to get access to a filing cabinet where the keys were kept for the scooters and many keys were found strewn across the floor in front of open drawers.
A hard drive recording system for the office CCTV camera was also removed to erase evidence of the raid, along with an Acer laptop.
Mr Lockwood believed the thieves had then wheeled the scooters out of the back door and loaded them on to a van they had stolen from a neighbouring business before making their getaway.
He said: “The words I would use to describe the people who have done this are unprintable. Scum.
“There are good and bad in this world and the bad, believe me, they cause devastation.
“It is not just the fact that you strive so damn hard and put in 70 or 80 hours a week and weekends as well to get the business up and running and then you get this, but it will also take us a little while to recover, it will have a knock on effect.”
The stolen scooters included a TGA Digital, Cadiz and Kymco 4, while the raiders also attempted to take a TGA Breeze 3, which was found at the business next door with its front light smashed.
Mr Lockwood said the family company was started more than eight years ago and prided itself on its customer service and high quality, mostly second hand scooters supplied to people with a range of disabilities, including cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal injuries and arthritis.
He added: “I feel totally punch drunk, absolutely knocked for six. I can understand now the feeling people have when their home has been burgled. It is like a violation.”
He said the one consolation was that nobody was hurt and he also thanked his customers for the support they had shown him in the aftermath of the raid, adding that one person had offered to replace a scooter.
A police spokesman said the raid happened between 11pm on Wednesday and 1am on Thursday.
She added police had received a report of seven scooters being stolen along with cash, although that number had not been confirmed.
Anyone with information in relation to the break-in should phone Norfolk police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.