Businessman puts up £10,000 reward after burglars nearly cost him his livelihood

Mark Baldwin speaking out about the impact of burglary on his business in Martham.Picture: James Bas

Mark Baldwin speaking out about the impact of burglary on his business in Martham.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

After a burglary almost cost him his livelihood, a businessman has put up a £10,000 reward to try to find the culprits.

Mark Baldwin owns Classic Sports Car Unlimited, a company which makes fibre-glass panels for vehicles, and is based in Cess Road, Martham.

In February last year, £20,000-worth of equipment was stolen from his workshop, which he did not have insurance for.

The 44-year-old, who lives on Cess Road, said: 'Someone locally must know something. They might have bought it unknowingly. If they did then I want to make sure they are not out of pocket.'

Soon after the thefts, Mr Baldwin said he felt like giving up his business. He moved with his wife and daughter to France for a few months where they have a house and a workshop, and considered starting a new life abroad.

At the end of last year they decided to move back to the UK to give things another go.

Among the equipment taken was a welder, a plasma cutter, a tool chest and an array of hand tools.

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Mr Baldwin added: 'To top it off they even stole the alarm system I had just bought to put in.

'I don't think people realise how long it takes to buy all this equipment or how important it is to the business.'

He has now put up a reward for any information which leads to a successful prosecution in relation to the burglaries.

The village was hit by a string of other thefts on the same night. £3,000-worth of apparatus was taken from the man who shares Mr Baldwin's garage, the boat dyke was also targeted, as were the allotments where chainsaws and shot gun cartridges were among items taken.

A spokesman for the police confirmed the crime was filed, pending new evidence, on June 8, 2015. Anyone with any information should call the police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Do you have a story about a crime? Email george.ryan@archant.co.uk