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Break-ins threaten Skelmersdale businesses future

Around £250,000 has been stolen from Innox Trading Ltd in three weeks

James O'Loan of Innox Trading Ltd

A Skelmersdale business could be forced to leave the town and make staff redundant after three burglaries in recent weeks.

Around £250,000 worth of stock has been stolen from Innox Trading Ltd in three weeks.

Staff told the Advertiser it is believed the same gang has been behind all the raids, using heavy cutting equipment to break through walls. The most recent incident took place on May 2.

The burglars have also climbed up drainpipes and dropped down into the building through skylights.

The gang has stolen hundreds of thousand of pounds worth of electric toothbrushes, razor blades and cosmetics from the distribution centre in East Gillibrands.The break-ins have also caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the building.

And now staff have told the Advertiser that the business could be forced to move from Greenhey Place, and let workers go.

Shamir Patel, who  is a manager at the web-based business, said: “They must have heavy gear such as whizzer saws to cut through the walls. And they have risked death or serious injury by dropping down through the skylights due to the height of the building.

“We are a bit fed up with the council, who are our landlords. We would like security improved, such as anti-vandalism paint used and damage to the perimeter fence repaired.”

James O’Loan, superintendent pharmacist at the business, said: “If the burglaries continue we will move right out of the area. We employ over 40 people, and local jobs will go if we move. We just need a bit more support from the council and hope that the police can put a stop to these break-ins.”

A spokesman for West Lancashire Borough Council said: "The company has occupied units leased from the council for a number of years without incident. The council as landlord has visited the company as soon as it was made aware of each break-in and carried out the necessary temporary repairs to secure the premises and make it watertight.

 ‘‘A contractor has been instructed to proceed with permanent repairs as soon as possible. Council staff are working closely with the company to improve security for these units.”

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you can help.

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