Storage specialist Hammer Distribution has become the victim of a ram raid and attempted burglary - the third break-in the company has suffered in nine months.
At about 2am on 26 May, a 7.5 tonne truck, stolen in Uxbridge the previous day, drove into the warehouse doors of Hammer's offices in Basingstoke.
The force of the truck hitting the reinforced doors demolished the surrounding wall. Police were on the scene within three minutes of the security guard pressing the panic button but the criminals had already escaped in a getaway car, empty-handed.
Last year, Hammer was hit by thieves twice on consecutive nights and more than £170,000 of equipment was stolen. After last week's incident, the distributor increased its security, with guards on the premises 24 hours a day, panic buttons directly connected to the police station, smoke cloaks to obscure intruders' vision and protective cages for stock.
The frequency of the attacks has led Paul Sangster, sales and marketing director at Hammer, to question whether the company is being targeted specifically.
'There are a lot of IT companies on this estate, including Computer 2000, IBM and quite a few PC assemblers,' said Sangster. 'But as far as I know, none of these companies are being targeted as we are.'
Sangster would not rule out the possibility that someone from inside Hammer could be involved in the break-ins, but insisted that its employees were loyal and were prepared to help out over the bank holiday weekend.
'After the series of break-ins, many of the staff have volunteered to stay on the premises overnight in case these criminals come back for a second attempt,' said Sangster.
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