METAL thieves have cost two jobs by targeting a business twice in the space of a week – all for just £200.
KW Engineering Services, in Mowbray Road, Hartlepool, was hit twice by thieves who took £6,200 worth of industrial equipment.
Managing director Karl Wright said the hi-tech goods, which were due to be shipped to Iran, would only be worth up to £200 in scrap.
He said he was about to re-open two positions after cutting back during the recession, but can not now afford the additional staff after the burglaries left him heavily out of pocket.
Mr Wright, who currently employs three people, said: “This has directly cost two jobs. It is a large amount of money for a small company to lose.
“But it wouldn’t be worth much at all in scrap. It’s very disappointing and hugely frustrating.
“We may be based in Hartlepool but we are an international company. This equipment was being loaded to go to Iran and it had taken a long time to get it sorted because of the problems over there.
“It’s a lot of hard work wasted and it is not only us affected as they were expecting these items to be shipped out.”
His site was hit during the early hours of Tuesday, March 1, and two days later on Thursday, March 3.
The equipment taken included power hoses, brass fittings and parts from a furnace.
Mr Wright added: “Because of the current climate, I can’t see an easy way to stop this happening because it’s easy money for the people who are that way inclined.
“But they must be weighing it in somewhere, otherwise it’s worthless to them.
“This is specialised equipment, it would be obvious to anyone that if a scruffy thief walked into somewhere with it that it wasn’t his. The same goes for manhole covers and the like.
“I’ve told the police I could even recognise the stuff they took from us in pieces. It’s fairly unique.”