AN ORMSKIRK businessman has been forced to install CCTV cameras at his home after being continually targeted by scrap metal thieves.
Keith Nixon, 45, owns JKL Heating and Plumbing, based at the Malthouse Business Centre in Ormskirk.
Part of his business involves removing old boilers that have a high scrap metal value and over the past year Keith has fallen victim to thieves more than once a week.
Keith said: “Scrap metal thefts have always been an issue but over the past year it’s just got out of hand.
“When we remove the old boilers, I usually take them home as I figured they’d be safer there until we have a chance to take them apart.
“But thieves have started to target my own house, taking the boilers as soon as I leave them for a few minutes. Some of the boilers are made of copper, which has a scrap value of around £300, so I can see why it’s attractive to thieves, but it’s losing me hundreds of pounds.
“We take the boilers apart and get all the reusable parts from them, sometimes the boilers can even be used again.
“I’m just completely fed up, its getting ridiculous now.”
Keith has fence panels erected at his home and had CCTV cameras installed to try to catch the perpetrators.
But the thieves smashed through the fence panels and attempted to damage the cameras while wearing balaclavas – thwarting his attempts to bring them to justice.
Keith believes he has lost an estimated £3,000 over the year because of the continual criminal activity and says the losses are unsustainable for his business in the current economic climate.
Keith continued: “I’ve tried everything and have reported several thefts to the police but nothing seems to have come of it.
“I’m not the only person who’s been affected, though – lots of people in the trade are suffering because of these thieves.
“You can’t leave the van for two seconds any more and you have to be so vigilant.
“The last 18 months have just been absolutely horrendous.
“I’ve had to start putting the boilers in a secure lock-up now, which is costing me over £50 a week.
“The boilers have been safe until now in there, but I think it’s only a matter of time until that starts to be targeted and I have to find somewhere else.”
Have you been affected by scrap metal thieves? Email Sophie at sophie. firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet her @mccoidsophie