Warning after several businesses are ram-raided

Autoserv's  James Matthews
Autoserv's James Matthews

Stolen cars have been used to ram-raid a number of auto businesses across Castleford, Pontefract and Wakefield in recent weeks, police have warned.

The offences have largely targeted garages and workshops and seen offenders steal tools before making off in the vehicles which they later abandon.

In the latest incidents, a manufacturing business in Pontefract and an industrial unit on the Tanshelf industrial estate were both the subject of attacks in the early hours of Wednesday morning, June 6.

The suspects, who used a stolen Ford KA and Peugeot 2008 were unable to break into the Tanshelf unit and were disturbed at the Pontefract premises, resulting in them fleeing empty handed.

The stolen cars were later recovered and are being studied by scenes of crime officers.

James Matthews, owner of MOT company Autoserv in Ackworth, recently told the Express that he feared having to shut the business down after the second break-in in six months.

The latest incident saw burglars drive a van into garage doors of the Wakefield Road premises at around 2.30am on May 23.

Police said the raiders then used the van to escape.

Detective Inspector Dan Tillett of Wakefield District CID, said: “We are conducting a number of enquiries into these offences which are part of a pattern of offending in which suspects have rammed the shuttered doors of commercial premises.

“Several offences have been recorded and I would like to advise business owners that we are investigating and have made arrests in connection with several of the incidents.

“I would encourage business owners who sell or use hi-value tools and equipment, that can be used in the motor trade, to ensure that it is secured and not visible to those passing by. “They should also ensure that their security is of a standard that would deter or repel any attackers and, if there are vehicles kept on the premises overnight, to ensure that the keys to the vehicles are not accessible.

“Anyone who is offered high value motor trade tools for sale in suspicious circumstances or who has information that would assist the enquiry should contact us on 101 quoting ref 13170257387.”

Wakefield District CID are conducting enquiries and are asking residents to be wary about being offered vehicle tools taken from the scenes.

They are also urging businesses to make sure high value equipment is, if possible, not left on display from roadsides during working hours.