Bike business burgled for fourth time

A bike hire business in County Durham says it could face closure after it was burgled for a fourth time.

Wood N Wheels in Hamsterley Forest suffered damage and loss of property worth around £3,500 in the latest break-in. The business said the thieves caused extensive damage and took bikes worth hundreds of pounds.

Good business insurance is important whatever type of business you run. Your policy should be adequate to cover damaged property and any losses resulting from thefts. The latest break-in at Wood N Wheels comes just three months after a previous burglary at the premises.

The mountain bike hire business said it all comes on top of a tough year caused by the poor summer weather. Owner Martin Stout said the latest theft was “absolutely sickening”.

He told The Northern Echo: “They got in by ripping a window out and stole three bikes and lots of small stock such as T-shirts, riding tops, pumps and a small amount of cash.

“This is so annoying because this could be the end for us. We are not flash by any means and just about make the business pay.”

Local people are now rallying around in a bid to help raise the money needed for the repairs to the business and to replace the lost stock.

An engineering firm from Bishop Auckland has been in touch with an offer to help the business improve its on-site security and make it less vulnerable to break-ins. Meanwhile, David Wilson from Stockton has started a fundraising campaign online for donations towards the repairs.

He said: “I have no connection to the shop and I’m not even a regular customer but the shop is great and the owner deserves some help.

“I was there about six months ago just after one of the other break-ins and it was shocking to see. The poor guy is just trying to make a living. He is so friendly and helpful.”