Thieves have broken into a Derby garage workshop and forced their way into tool cabinets, stealing entire tool collections from two mechanics.
Steve Health and Tony Fowkes of CF Vehicle Wholesale in Spondon have been left devastated after their tools, which they had been building up for decades, were taken or destroyed in just one night.
Thieves tore through a section of wall which was covering an old extractor fan hole to gain access into the workshop.
Snap-on tool cabinets also suffered extensive damage.
Tony Fowkes said: “To replace all the damaged parts of the tool boxes, I’ve been told it’s £50,000 plus VAT.
“That’s without the tools in them and that’s all personal stuff.
“It belonged to me, not the company.
“This is the most expensive thing that I have got.
“I’m really proud of it, it’s my pride and joy.”
“Put me back thirty years to when I first started out”
With his tools now gone, Mr Fowkes fears that his livelihood is at threat.
He said: “We are no use to the company now, but we can’t go anywhere else because they will employ someone who has tools over someone who doesn’t.
“I’m a single parent and I have two daughters, 20 and 17, so this is really hard for me.
“It has put me back thirty years to when I first started out.”
Steve Heath said: “I have been doing this all my life.
“This was my pension.
“I want to retire in 15 years but now I can’t do that because all the money I had was in that tool box.
“That box was my nest egg.
“My plan was to sell it and then I’d have a lump sum to live off.
“I think in total the amount that’s been done in damage and theft is £90-£100,000.
“I’d say it’s probably more likely in the six figures.”
“This is my life, my pension”
Owner of CF Vehicle Wholesale, Chris Frampton, said: “This is a family business that I’ve built up over 15 years.
“Then when everything is going perfectly this comes and messes everything up.
“This is my life, my pension, my money for my kids, everything.
“There have been names thrown around as to who it was, but we don’t know for sure.
“Four or five garages and vans have been broken into recently and people say that it is the same people who did those.
“They’re drug addicts.
“The sad thing is that they will be selling the tools for £100 just for their next fix, when everything is worth so much more than that.”
Local businesses have been banding together to donate tools to the company in its time of need and Mr Frampton has thanked MOT Masters in Agard Street and Eurocar Care in Derby for their donations.
The business says it wants to be up and running in earnest by March 1.
Mr Fowkes has set up a GoFundMe page to try and raise money to buy the tools he needs for his job.
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