Bosses count cost of weekend crime spree

Broken glass and brick dust inside the blue VW Golf owned by the Tears.
Broken glass and brick dust inside the blue VW Golf owned by the Tears.
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Bosses of two businesses and a charity have been left counting the cost of a weekend crime spree.

Two cars, a bike and several sets of car keys were stolen in a raid on Spalding’s Commercial Road Garage in the early hours of Saturday.

Both cars and the bike, along with some of the keys, have been recovered but boss Chris Stopps is appealing to members of the public to contact the garage on 01775 723530 if they find any abandoned car keys.

Chris has worked at the garage, which is an MOT test centre, for five years and took over as owner about three months ago.

He said: “I think it was opportunists, really. We are going to put in a new door and we are going to put some cameras up.”

Also hit at the weekend were the owners of Pacey’s Bakery, Sharon and George Tear, and Pam Mansfield, from the Deeping St James charity, Exotic Pet Refuge.

A thief threw a brick through the driver’s side window of the Tears’ car, stealing George’s wallet that had around £20-£30 and four credit cards inside, and now they are waiting to find out if the crook ran up bills through contactless payments before the cards were cancelled.

The pet charity had a trailer stolen from Holbeach Clough.

The theft of the trailer used by Exotic Pet Refuge is a savage blow to the charity described by Pam as “my entire life”.

It costs more than £65,000 a year to keep the charity going, with around £20,000 of that raised by six open days each year – the latest being held at the weekend and it was largely a washout due to heavy rain.

The refuge is home to all manner of creatures including meerkats, a European lynx, owls and reptiles.

Pam revealed news of the theft on Facebook, saying the 8ftx6ft Wessex trailer, which has faulty lights, was stolen between 12.30pm-4.30pm on Saturday.

She is now appealing for anyone who has a trailer of the same size that they no longer use to get in touch with her by emailing

Pam says the refuge used its trailer all of the time and desperately needs to replace it.

She said: “If we have to pay a bit for it, we don’t mind paying a bit, but we just want a decent trailer.”

The Tears had just returned from holiday and left their blue VW Golf in Red Lion Street while they went to work in the bakery between 10am-3pm on Sunday. A brick was thrown through the driver’s side window.

“Foolishly, George had left his wallet in the car,” said Sharon. “We had been using dollars abroad so it only had about £20-£30 inside. He had four credit cards, which we rang up and stopped but, of course, in this day and age there’s contactless and everything.”

Yesterday, the Tears didn’t know if the cards had been used prior to them being stopped.

Sharon said the car alarm would have sounded.

She said: “There’s CCTV at the top of Red Lion Street but I don’t think it was working on Sunday.”

Chris Stopps says “two lads and a young girl” were responsible for breaking into his premises.

He said police caught one man in one of the stolen cars but “he managed to get out and leg it”.

A man was also caught on the stolen bike but got away.

Chris said: “We have never had any trouble before.”

• If anyone has information on any of the incidents, please call Lincolnshire Police on 101.