For the second time in two weeks, thieves have ram-raided the gates to an industrial estate and smashed their way into a unit before stealing a number of expensive tools and equipment worth an estimated £10,000.

CCTV footage taken from the Spring Vale Industrial Estate in Watery Lane, Darwen, shows a van reversing towards the gates and ramming them until they burst open, allowing them to enter the site and pilfer tools from the Lawnmower Specialists.

Chorley Citizen:

The incident was caught on camera just before 11pm on Friday, and is the second time the business has been targeted, the first being over the bank holiday weekend on May 23.

Both times, thieves have taken around £5,000 worth of equipment.

Chorley Citizen:

Phil Fleming, who co-owns the business said: "We were ram-raided a couple of weeks ago and that was bad enough.

"The current Covid situation is making times hard for all business financially and to be srtuck again in such short time is going to be very difficult.

"We are a small family owned business taken over from my father in Lower Darwen who sadly passed in 2013, and do not have insurance to cover such incidents.

"This is going to be very difficult for our business future.

"Police have tracked the van via traffic and ANPR cameras as leaving via Pole Lane, taking a left on Roman Road then left again down Pothouse Lane.

"Any information would be greatly appreciated.

"The van is a Vauxhall Vivaro which would have had damage to rear."

Mr Fleming's business partner, Tom Hardy, said: "This happened last night and the time before that was the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend.

"They've taken about £5,000 worth of tools each time.

"It’s frustrating as it's yet another set back for a small local business to take on during this difficult economic climate due to the pandemic."

Another business owner, from 1st Choice Fitted Bedrooms, which is also on the estate said: "The gates were rammed off our industrial estate and a unit broken into.

"The police were there within minutes, but it's the second time this has happened recently.

"We own 1st Choice Fitted Bedrooms which is across from the Lawnmower Specialists.

"A partner in that business has shared a list of what was stolen along with some photos on social media.

"It’s not on. Companies are just getting going again after the lockdown so we certainly don’t need this on top of it.

"The first time, on May 23, a red saloon car came from the direction of the function room.

"Any CCTV footage and any information about the tools would be greatly appreciated."

Chorley Citizen:

Items stolen on May 23 included:

Stihl hs80 hedgecutter

Stihl ms020t chainsaw

Stihl bg56 blower

Husqvarna 135 chainsaw

Cobra cs520 chainsaw

Cobra cs420 chainsaw

Efco 4200s chainsaw

Chorley Citizen:

Items stolen on June 5 included:

Stihl hs80 hedgecutter

Stihl bg86 blower

Stihl fs45 brushcutter

Husqvarna brushcutter

Stihl hs45 hedgecutter

Dolmar chainsaw

Stihl ts410 disc cutter

Evolution Wacker plate

Cobra rm40spc lawnmower

Cobra bc330cu brushcutter

Cobra bc330 brushcutter

The owners of the tools say they are offering a cash reward for their return.

A spokesperson for the police said: "We were called around 11pm on Friday to reports of a burglary at Springvale Business Park in Darwen.

"A vehicle, believed to be a Vauxhall van, had been used to ram the gates to the park before being used to ram the shutters to a business premises.

"The offenders removed items, including gardening equipment, from inside the property and made off from the scene."

Anyone with any information on their whereabouts or details of the culprits should contact the police quoting log reference 1511 of June 5.