TOOLS worth £20,000 were stolen from two independent garages in a Grantham industrial estate.
The burglaries on Friday night have dealt a blow to the owners of the small businesses in Woodland Drive, in the Alma Park Industrial Estate.
In order to keep their businesses going and to avoid letting down customers, they have had to buy new tools which they can ill afford.
Norbert Cebula co-owns Grand Auto. He said that not only did the burglars take £10,000 worth of tools, but also the hard-drive storing the CCTV footage which could potentially have led to their capture.
Mr Cebula, 27, added: “We’ve had to spend more money just to keep the business going. At the end of the day we have to keep going to pay our bills.
“We’ve only just finished paying for everything and now it’s all gone. This has hit us hard.”
Alex Peseckis, 28, owns Auto Workshop next door. He has also totalled his loss at £10,000.
He said: “When I opened the door I got a surprise. All our stuff was all over the floor.
“They made a lot of mess indeed.
“This has hit us because we’re a small business, we’re not earning thousands of pounds every month.
“I’ve just spent £1,000 to buy some cheap tools to get us going. That’s a lot of money to a family.”
Both owners said they would increase security.
Lincolnshire Police spokesman James Newall said four units in the estate were broken into in total, with a small amount of cash stolen from one.
Crooks gained entry after snapping locks on the doors.
Mr Newall said: “Criminals in the area are targeting commercial properties. Those two car workshops have had property worth a considerable amount of money stolen, which is clearly going to affect business.
“We would urge anyone who has information or who is offered any tools which may be stolen to get in touch.
“We would also urge businesses to review their security in light of these offences, and if they can afford to improve it please do.”
l Information to police on 101.