A tree surgeon has been left unable to work after thieves smashed thier way into his storage unit and stole about £10,000 worth of tools.
Michael Ham, who took over Geoff Ham Tree Services from his father, said thieves broke into two shipping containers where he keeps his tools at a field in Sticker, near St Austell.
The containers were locked up at about 4.30pm yesterday – Tuesday, January 22. When Mr Ham went to collect his tools this morning he found the locks to the containers had been broken and the truck parked up in front of them had been badly damaged.
Mr Ham said: “We locked up at about 4.30pm. I locked the two shipping containers up with the proper locks – cage locks – and put the truck in front of them.
“I left the field and locked up the gate.
“This morning when we got there the gate was fine but then we saw they had smashed their way into both containers. They broke into the truck by smashing the windows and were able to move it out of the way.”
The business, which has been trading since 1986, is owned by Mr Ham. His father continues to work for the firm and they employ two others.
He said approximately £10,000 of tools were stolen from inside the containers, including several Husqvarna and Stihl chainsaws, leaving them unable to work.
“We can’t work today,” he said.
“I’ve had to order £4,500 of tools just so we can work tomorrow.”
The father of three now fears the break-in will prevent him from moving house.
“We’re totally distraught to be honest,” he said.
“I have got three young children and we are trying move house at the moment. £10,000 is a lot of money for us. It means we may not be able to move now.”
He is urging anyone who sees the following items for sale to contact the police.
The tools stolen include:
- Husqvarna 3120XP chainsaw (no longer produced and worth approx £1,500)
- Husqvarna 395 chainsaw
- Husqvarna 372 chainsaw
- Husqvarna 365 chainsaw
- Stihl MS 201 chainsaw (x2)
- Stihl HL71 hedge cutters
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police are investigating reports of burglary from a commercial premises in Sticker, St Austell.
“The incident was reported to have happened between 4.30pm on Tuesday 22 and 8am on Wednesday 23 January.
“Equipment including power tools and gardening equipment were reported to have been taken and a vehicle on site is reported to have been damaged.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting CR/006965/19.