Thieves branded ‘scum of the earth’

Professional thieves who targeted a Derry garage at the weekend have been branded “scum of the earth” by one of the owners.

Sipho Sebela and Martin McClay have urged others in the motor repairs trade to be on the look-out for anyone offering equipment, after their business was ram-raided in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The proprietors of Springtown Garage pictured outside the damaged premises yesterday morning. A large number of tools were stolen in an overnight break-in. DER3914MC001

The proprietors of Springtown Garage pictured outside the damaged premises yesterday morning. A large number of tools were stolen in an overnight break-in. DER3914MC001

The gates erected at their Springtown Garage business were rammed by what is believed to have been a large vehicle before the culprits cut through locks on the shutters and rammed and busted open the doors.

A car which was being repaired just inside the premises was also damaged in the ram-raid episode.

The two men, who only took over the business within the last year, were yesterday tallying the cost of the damage, and said they believed it will run into thousands of pounds .

Mr Sebela said that the business, which specialises in MOT , services and diagnostics, had been going well in recent months.

“It was really getting there. I started with one boy and now we have three. They are really, really good workers. The people responsible for this were very smart. They knew what they were doing, that there would be nobody about at this time.

“The only car that was damaged was the car near the door that was blocking them. They broke the window and moved the car out of the way and then took almost all of the tools.

“It’s shocking, just shocking because you don’t know if they are going to come back again.

“Tools can be recovered but you still have the shock in your mind, why would they come straight to your building like that- they knew exactly what they wanted.” Among the tools they took were a welding machine, valuable ratchets and grinders, as well as a headlight setter machine used for MOT purposes.

Mr McClay meanwhile said of those behind the incident: “They are scum just, scum of the earth”.

He also urged people to keep a look out for the equipment and to contact them if they heard anything regarding the incident.

Despite the damage caused, Springtown Garage is now back open for business.