TWO 191 vans, iPads and laptops were stolen and significant damage was caused when thieves targeted six units of Johnstown Business Park.
The break-ins are believed to have occurred sometime between 11pm on Friday night and 8am on Saturday morning last.
Two Peugeot catering vans, with registration numbers 191 W 877 and 191 W 878 were stolen from Mary Grimes Catering. Meanwhile, a neighbouring unit housing Bodyworks was broken into and ransacked. Material damage was caused inside the unit and two iPads and a laptop were stolen. IT equipment was also stolen from a business that started only three months ago.
Bodyworks, which provides physical therapy, fitness and nutrition services, was opened one year ago by Wayne Halloran, Brian Quann and Shane Roche. Speaking to the Waterford News & Star Wayne said this was the second time in 12 months that their premises at Unit 25 Johnstown Business Park was targeted. The first time saw bricks being put through their window.
Following the latest break-in, Wayne said they were feeling a mixed bag of emotions including, anger, annoyance and disappointment.
Wayne explained that when Brian arrived to work on Saturday morning he was met by the sight of Gardaí. He initially thought their unit was not affected until he opened the shutter. Inside the door to the first room was kicked down, the door frame was broken, and the desk was overturned. A similar scene met him in other rooms. A hole was even made in the wall.
“We are just opened 12 months and it felt like a kick in the teeth and it was the last thing we needed,” Wayne said. They must now replace pretty much all the doors as they were either kicked down, frames broken or locks were crowbarred off. “It was all material damage. There was a laptop and iPads stolen as well,” he said. He said it felt like all their hard work over the last year was undone as a result. Despite the obvious disappointment they worked hard over the weekend to clear the mess and open on Monday.
Since the break-in they have been inundated with messages and offers from people to do work free of charge, which they are very grateful for. “The guards are following a line of investigation and hopefully these people will be caught and perhaps save someone else the hardship we have to endure,” Wayne said.
He said that Johnstown is a nice area and contains a lot of businesses, including start-ups. He added that the caretakers put a lot of effort into their work.
Posting on social media, Mary Grimes expressed how upset she was that her vans were stolen at one of the busiest times of the year with communions and confirmations. She said the crime was sickening as they needed the vans to deliver to customers. They managed to make their deliveries and were open for business on Monday.