A Levenmouth garage boss has warned that a spate of break-ins at his premises could end up driving him out of business.
Motor mechanic John Maxwell says he could be forced to close after three break-ins at his premises in the last month, in which valuable specialist equipment has been stolen.
Mr Maxwell, who has run the Bow Street Garage in Buckhaven for 32 years, needs the tools to carry out highly specialised work on classic cars, which is his stock in trade.
The most recent incident was on February 25 and the losses have left him unable to do a range of work.
Sinister messages were also spray-painted on the walls and floor of the workshop.
Mr Maxwell reckoned the value of the equipment stolen was around £25,000-£30,000 – plus the lost work and the damage to his premises.
“I am at my wits’ end,” he added.
“Is it safe for me to work at night? This is Buckhaven we are in – not Beirut.”
Mr Maxwell (56) said the tools would be difficult for thieves to sell on – but also hard for him to replace.
Appealing for the return of the equipment, and for the incidents to stop, he said: “If there are any nice people out there – could you please help in finding my tools?”
Mr Maxwell said if his insurance firm did not pay out “for certain things”, the business would close, possibly in three to four months, putting him and his wife Elizabeth out of work.
If he decided to keep it going, he would have to sell other assets.
Mr Maxwell said he specialised in repairs for vehicles dating back in some cases to the 1930s, rather than modern work, and his service was largely unique in Fife and Scotland.
Local Councillor John O’Brien urged anyone with information to contact the police, adding: “I think this man has worked very hard and it’s a shame he has put so much into the business, only for some thieves to come along during the night and destroy his business in a matter of minutes.”
Local police are continuing to investigate the sequence of break-ins at the Bow Street Garage.
DS Alec Raeside of Levenmouth CID said: “We are keen to speak with any person who may have knowledge of the incidents or who has been offered any tools for sale. We have now introduced security measures at the premises which should assist with tracing any person who intends breaking in.” Anyone with information should contact Police Scotland immediately on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.