Warning after auto firms hit by ram-raiders

A series of ram-raids using stolen cars have taken place at auto businesses across Castleford, Pontefract and Wakefield in recent weeks, police have warned.

The offences have largely targeted garages and workshops and seen offenders steal tools before making off in the vehicles which they later abandon.

The Express recently reported that Autoserv, an MOT test centre in Ackworth, was targeted by thieves who smashed through garage doors using a van in the early hours of the morning on May 23.

In the latest incidents, a manufacturing business in Pontefract and an industrial unit on the Tanshelf industrial estate were both the subject of attacks in the early hours of Wednesday morning, June 6.

The suspects, who used a stolen Ford KA and Peugeot 2008 were unable to break into the Tanshelf unit and were disturbed at the Pontefract premises, resulting in them fleeing empty handed.

The stolen cars were later recovered and are being studied by scenes of crime officers.

Detective Inspector Dan Tillett of Wakefield District CID, said: “They are part of a pattern of offending in which suspects have rammed the shuttered doors of commercial premises.

“Several offences have been recorded and I would like to advise business owners that we are investigating and have made arrests in connection with several of the incidents.

“I would encourage business owners who sell or use hi-value tools and equipment, that can be used in the motor trade, to ensure that it is secured and not visible to those passing by.

“They should also ensure that their security is of a standard that would deter or repel any attackers and, if there are vehicles kept on the premises overnight, to ensure that the keys to the vehicles are not accessible.

“Anyone who is offered high-value motor trade tools for sale in suspicious circumstances should call 101 quoting ref 13170257387.”