THIEVES who struck at a busy supermarket car park may put a local tradesman out of business.
Self-employed kitchen fitter Gary Burgess parked his car in Morrisons’ car park at Waterloo on Wednesday while he popped in for tea with seven-year-old son Max.
They returned to his Mercedes Sprinter less than an hour later to discover that the van had been broken into and all of his tools had been stolen.
Mr Burgess, who lives at Fenay Bridge, said: “I am devastated. I have totally lost my livelihood. They have completely cleaned me out and I have been laid awake all night wondering what to do.
“I parked my car at teatime in a busy supermarket in what I thought was a secure car park. It seems nobody saw anything, but somebody must have seen them.”
He has been a kitchen fitter for 25 years and cannot work without his tools, which were worth £4,500. Already he has lost two jobs as a result of the theft.
Items stolen included a large chop saw worth £1,000, a Festool track saw bought two weeks ago for £500, a number of drills, jigsaws and various other equipment.
Although Mr Burgess, 49, has three insurance policies, he has been informed by the companies involved that none of them cover him for theft of tools from his van.
He is angry at the lack of concern and vigilance by Morrisons supermarket. When he went into the Waterloo store to report the theft, he was told the manager wasn’t available and had to inform the girls on the customer service desk.
According to Mr Burgess, Morrison’s car park has no CCTV and there are no signs informing customers of the fact. The supermarket chain claims that signs are visible.
“The only CCTV is pointing back at Morrison’s property – on their cash machines and at the petrol station. There are none pointing at customers’ cars or anybody else’s property.”
Mr Burgess has appealed on Facebook for the return of his tools. He is also scouring adverts on ebay in an effort to trace them.
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We sympathise with the customer regarding this unfortunate incident and we would remind shoppers to be vigilant when leaving items of high value within their vehicles.
“We will cooperate fully with the police and if anybody has information regarding this incident, we would advise them to contact their local police station.”
He added that there were permanent fixed signs at each of the two entrances to of the store stating: ‘Morrisons accept no responsibility for damage to vehicles or loss or damage to articles left therein on this car park.’
The theft is the second time in a week that a local tradesman has been faced with ruin through no fault of his own.
On Wednesday, the Examiner featured master decorator Maynard Mortimer who may have to close his business after a drunk driver crashed into his van.