AC raid causes £52,000 loss for Coolit Refrigeration
Job losses are being considered following the theft of 133 ac units from installer Coolit Refrigeration's warehouse which cost the firm £52,000.
Thieves broke into the company's Axminster warehouse and made off with the units sometime between 2pm on Sunday, September 16 and 9am the next day. Police investigating the theft believe several hours and at least a lorry or several vans were needed to pull off the crime.
Lloyd Griffiths, owner of Coolit Refrigeration, which has been trading for the last 28 years, took over the firm from his father two years ago and spoke frankly about the financial blow dealt by thieves.
'It's put a big financial strain on our company. We've had to totally rethink our plans.
'They'll be cutbacks, we might have to lose staff.'
The stolen units were made by Chinese manufacturer Chigo and were imported from China by Mauritian firm Clime-imports.
'We are not going to stock Chigo again. I have decided to focus on installing Mitsubishi units, because it means we do not need our warehouse and two lock-ups to house units.
'Instead, I can order units from Mitsubishi which are delivered straight to the site requiring the installation. This move alone will save us £20,000'.
The firm employs five full-time staff and works around 40 sub-contractors.
'We're not going to be defeated by this', said Mr Griffiths.
'We have been around for 28 years and it is business as usual.'