Customer's car stolen in garage burglary

A garage is counting the cost after thieves broke into the workshop and stole a customer’s car and mechanics' tools.

GP Commercials in Belfast was targeted by burglars who took specialist equipment and caused damage to the premises estimated at £300,000.

If you are leaving customers’ property and valuable equipment on your premises overnight, it’s important to have good security in place including alarms and CCTV. It’s also vital that you have the right level of motor trade insurance in police to protect your assets and also to cover the cost of any repairs to your property if you are the victim of a break-in.

Thieves got into GP Commercials in Hilltown Road by forcing their way in. They vandalised the inside of the property and also took a silver Nissan Primera from the premises which belonged to a customer.

Mechanic Marty Lavery, one of three who works at the business, told Belfast Live that the culprits were “scum”. He said that the inside of the garage had been “smashed to bits” after the burglary.

"So much was taken and we’ve had to borrow tools. They’ve taken three fellas' livelihoods,” said Mr Lavery.

“Everything was vandalised, and things were gone with a car stolen. There was so much equipment taken. I’ve nothing to say to them really. They’re just low life scum who’ve come in. I think they’ve been watching the yard. They knew what they were coming in for.”

Mr Lavery said he didn’t think the thieves were aware of the cost of the damage they had caused and wondered how many other garages had been targeted by the gang.

Police are appealing for information on the break-in, which happened overnight between January 16 and 17.

A spokesman said: “Thieves made off with a large quantity of specialised tools and equipment as well a silver Nissan Primera car.”