Food company vows to continue deliveries after metal thieves target vans
The boss of a boxed fruit and vegetables company has vowed that customers across the West will get their deliveries today despite nearly half his van fleet being disabled by thieves.
Cossey Produce Ltd, of Bridgwater, delivers to schools and private homes across Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Devon.
Yesterday morning, staff at the Bristol Road warehouse discovered that burglars had cut barbed wire to get into the compound and take complete exhaust systems from ten 3½-tonne refrigerated vans.
Speaking yesterday, boss Mark Kidner said: “We have CCTV footage. It’s unbelievable – they’ve done it in minutes. We won’t be able to begin to order more exhausts until tomorrow and don’t know how long it will take to get them.
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“Bridgwater Hire Company next door is going to let us have as many as it can and we promise our customers that we will deliver to them, even if we have to make several trips with the same vehicle. We deliver all across the South West, as far as Torquay.
“The exhausts have special components that make them valuable as scrap, but it is nothing compared to the cost of replacement. We are insured, but we will have to find £20,000 in the short-term. The damage, time and hassle it will cost is dreadful.”
Mr Kidner, 48, who also runs M&D Kidner, operating from Bristol’s wholesale fruit centre, began his working life at Cossey’s, aged 16. He left after ten years to found his own business and bought Cossey Produce out of administration three years ago. It employs 80 part and full-time staff.