A BUSINESS owner whose sites have been broken into four times in the past year described how commercial burglaries were “becoming wholesale”.
The latest incident at Turner Hire and Sales saw thieves pushing an £8,000 generator through an underpass before they were spotted by police passing by on Centenary Way.
This was the second break-in this year at the Thames Street base — the first coming two hours into lockdown in March — and the firm’s premises in Sheffield and Worksop have also been targeted.
Owner John Turner said: “What’s happened is a proliferation of burglary like this and a total breakdown of apprehension.
“I will never criticise the police, they don’t have enough bobbies or money, but it’s totally and utterly out of control. It’s becoming wholesale and what it will mean is businesses collapsing.
“We are further intensifying the security at our premises in whatever ways our minds can stretch to.”
He added: “Some guys came out of a white Audi and down to our place at Thames Street, tore some gates off and went into the yard to try and get this £8,000 generator.
“There’s an underpass immediately opposite. They pushed this thing all the way up, towards the railway station, where they must have had a van parked.
“As they were pushing it up, a police car went past on Centenary Way and saw these people. The officers pushed the generator back for us, but the other people were long gone.”
Mr Turner said he had also been informed of a bulldozer being stolen from a building site at Wickersley last week and an opticians branch closing because of the theft of expensive glasses.
South Yorkshire Police said commercial burglary rates had dropped in Rotherham by 29.7 per cent compared to last year.
Det Chief Insp Andy Knowles added: “Given the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unsurprising we have seen such reductions.
“However, our teams across the force have remained on the front line throughout the public health crisis to ensure ongoing concerns, including burglary, are addressed.
“Our neighbourhood officers regularly carry out patrols across Rotherham, and these are increased in areas where a burglary has been reported.
“We have also improved the way some teams are structured, which has led to faster identification of crime hotspots, strategic direction of patrols and the deployment of dedicated resources.”
Visit southyorks.police.uk/find-out/crime-prevention-advice/burglary for SYP’s burglary prevention advice.