Letchworth gardening business determined to carry on despite overnight raid at industrial estate

Caroline Howells of ARCH is determined to carry on despite the overnight raid at Green Lane Industri

Caroline Howells of ARCH is determined to carry on despite the overnight raid at Green Lane Industrial Estate. - Credit: Archant

The founder of a gardening business which was ransacked in an overnight raid at a Letchworth industrial estate has been left sickened in the aftermath of the raid, but is determined to carry on regardless.

Police are appealing for information following the incident, which saw burglars break into Green Lane Industrial Estate and force their way through the front doors of five business units.

The raid – which took place between 6pm on Monday, March 21 and 6am on Tuesday, March 22 – saw at least £40,000 worth of equipment stolen, a figure which is likely to rise.

Among the victims were Caroline and Steve Howells at gardening group ARCH, normally in the public eye for their hard work in the town which has included creating a community garden in The Wynd with a host of volunteers.

The team have also been known to hold colourful scarecrow school competitions at Standalone Farm.

Caroline said: “We lost all our power tools – the full financial loss has reached £10,000.

“I’m sickened that 13 years hard work could be taken away so easily and quickly.

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“But we have got to keep going both for the customers and staff – it’s the start of the season for us and we need to be working.

“We’re one of five small businesses targeted that evening, everyone will struggle but we are determined to keep going.”

Vandalism was also carried out at Alpine Industrial Safety Suppliers, where a glass office door was smashed and power tools were stolen.

As well as having a lorry broken into – although nothing was taken from the vehicle – MLC Motorsport had several go-kart parts taken in the raid.

SG6 Construction and Unit Six were also victims of the raid, with power tools stolen from both businesses.

PC Danielle Einchcomb said: “Thousands of pounds worth of electrical goods, power tools and go-karting equipment have been stolen during these break ins.

“I am appealing for anyone who has any information or saw anything suspicious in the area between the times stated to get in touch.

“I’m also keen to hear from anyone who may have been offered the stolen goods for sale.”

Anyone who saw the man or van in the area at the time is asked to contact PC Einchcomb via the police non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference G2/16/547.