Martin Hooper and Tony Webber of X L Autos have been trading successfully from the premises in Exeter for nine years with no problems at all. But on Tuesday night a devastating robbery took place, stripping the garage of £60,000 worth of equipment.
Martin explained: “Myself and my partner got here at quarter to eight. We were in total disbelief; two grown men in tears. It was a lifetime of equipment and tools gone in a hit. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s effectively closed the business until we buy new tools.”
The robbery took place on the evening of 6th July, some time after 10:30pm. A large white van was used, but little else is known as each camera was obscured with spray paint. Speaking about the thieves Martin commented: “they knew exactly the equipment they could take – they were professional. The only things left were bolted down.”
Some of the items stolen
• Snap-On Heritage, blue limited edition tool box with motor sports stickers all over and lots of tools inside
• Several Snap-On diagnostic tools
• A red roll cab tool box
• Snap-On digital camera
• A black V-Tech multi scan diagnostic unit designed only for Asian cars
• Several Sykes-Pickavant pressure kits
• Oil pressure and cooling kits
• Two brand new bottles of refrigerant gas which a require licence to purchase
• Computer tower and monitor
Martin urged all garages and businesses to prepare for events like this. He advised: “make sure you have alarm systems installed that alerts a call centre even if they are knocked off the wall. It might be expensive but it’s worth it. The police would have been here in minutes if we had them”.
Police are investigating the robbery, but you can do your part also by looking out for these items. If you are offered to buy second hand equipment matching the description of X L Autos please call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote X L Autos crime reference number DE/10/69/77.
Crime Stoppers website
X L Autos website