‘I’m very angry’ - Tree surgeon faces uncertain future after £19,000 equipment burgled

Tree surgeon Roger Norton of Wramplingham, who has had chainsaws and equipment stolen, worth about £

Tree surgeon Roger Norton of Wramplingham, who has had chainsaws and equipment stolen, worth about £19,000. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A tree surgeon has spoken of his shock and anger after a break-in at which £19,000 of chainsaws and other equipment was stolen.

Tree surgeon Roger Norton of Wramplingham, who has had chainsaws and equipment stolen, worth about £

Tree surgeon Roger Norton of Wramplingham, who has had chainsaws and equipment stolen, worth about £19,000. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Roger Norton, 26, of Wramplingham, says he is facing an uncertain future after the burglary, which took place overnight between Tuesday, August 1 and Wednesday, August 2.

Mr Norton's equipment had been stored in a shipping container, on a property close to where he lives in the village.

He said: 'It means months of working hard seven days a week undone by someone who's got no remorse. These people have got no idea of the sweat and blood and tears that have gone into it.

'I'm very angry. This has put multiple sub-contractors out of work and had a knock-on effect.

'I feel like I've let a lot of people down and it's horrible.'

The equipment was not insured. Mr Norton, who has run his business for the past six years, said he would be able to continue working, despite the major setback. He said he had been mowing the grass on Tuesday evening at the block of land where the thieves struck.

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Mr Norton said: 'I felt like I was being watched because there was this white van driving up and down. I went home, but about midnight I thought I'd reverse the tractor up to the container doors so no-one could get in, so I went back. Then I heard a bang, and saw this blue Toyota 4x4 Surf come roaring down the road about 12.15am.'

Thieves used an angle grinder to break into the container.

Stihl chainsaws, leaf blowers, lubricants, fuel, climbing and lowering equipment were all taken, and Mr Norton said the culprits also opened the tap on a water butt where his chain oil was stored, flooding the container.

Mr Norton said moments later he and his father saw an orange Transit van return to the area, which they suspected was there to steal more equipment, but it left empty-handed.

Mr Norton said he wanted to appeal for help from the public and asked people to be wary if they were offered chainsaws or other equipment on the cheap. He said he was putting up a reward for information leading to the recovery of the equipment. Police said they were investigating the burglary, and anyone with information should call 101.

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