Bolton car dealer slams police as investigation ended into yobs who caused £50,000 of damage

  • Bolton car dealership targeted by organised gang who strip front ends from vehicles
  • Vauxhall dealer Wilson & Co says its security compound was broken into three times in one weekend
  • Yobs caused £50,000 worth of damage but police end investigation after just one week
  • Greater Manchester Police says there is ‘no evidential opportunities to identify the suspect’

Time 8:49 am, January 15, 2024

A Bolton car dealership has fallen victim to a gang of yobs who caused £50,000 worth of damage by tearing the front ends off vehicles.

Vauxhall dealer Wilson & Co says it security compound in Bolton was broken into three times over a single weekend last month.

Hoodlums ripped bumpers, bonnets and headlights from cars and vans and the dealership has now been forced to stop leaving vehicles at the compound due to fears of a repeat.

Bolton News reports that the first break in was reported to police by a witness but officers said the incident was ‘not an emergency’.

The gang was eventually disturbed by a security guard – but not before they had caused extensive damage to cars and vans.

Greater Manchester Police has already ended its investigation into the thefts due to there being ‘no evidential opportunities to identify the suspect’.

The response has drawn stinging criticism from bosses at Wilson & Co, who say they have been ‘let down’.

Owner Robin Wilson said: ‘It beggars belief. The people who did it felt so confident they came back over the weekend.

‘I feel more than let down. It is going to cost us at least £10,000 on each.

‘We do not know if we can get the parts, there are global issues over parts supply.

‘With some of our other vehicles we have waited nine months for parts.

‘If I could choose where to send my tax I would not send it to the police because they do not do anything.

‘They could have stopped this if they had turned up after the first or second time.

‘They see because it is a business and you have insurance that it is a victimless crime.

‘We opened here in 2004, we had some problems with thieves breaking in and taking tools but nothing like this.’

Managing director, Mick Cliffe, added: ‘I was in Tesco in Halifax this week and there were two police cars there to get two shoplifters.’

‘If they can go to that then why not this? We have had to move vehicles now as the insurance would not let us keep them there.’

The attack on Wilson & Co is the latest in a worrying trend of similar incidents, dubbed ‘car cannibalism’.

Cases have been rising across the country over the past 12 months, with organised crime groups said to be stripping parts from vehicles to order.

Car Dealer has contacted Greater Manchester Police for comment.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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