The owner of a golf course and driving range targeted by thieves is urging other companies to review their own security systems after vital equipment was stolen.
Steve Muller, who runs North Wales Golf Course and Driving Range in Trefnant1 , has warned business owners to be vigilant after two quad bikes, a specialist mower and a strimmer were swiped in the incident. Mr Muller, who is now ramping up security further at the site, said the thieves struck just minutes after his father had closed up shop for the night on August 16.
He said: The range shuts at 9pm and my dad was working that night . He left at approximately 9.15pm and they turned up at 9.21pm.
If he had forgotten his phone it makes you wonder what they would have done.
Were they chancers or were they prepared to go further for what they wanted?
Mr Muller said the theft looked like it had been planned.
Steve Muller, North Wales Golf range with daughter Freya, which was targeted by thieves (Image: Robert Parry-Jones)
He said: The quads are kept in a back area and within four minutes they have turned up, used bolt cutters to get through a gate loaded the quads and gone away.
They came back two and a half hours later and taken the rest of the equipment.
When something like this happens it makes you start wondering if you have been watched.
Mr Muller said the thefts would have a big impact on his business, which he has run since 2003. The thieves took two green Kawasaki KLF300 quad bikes without the keys, a John Deere 220B greens mower, and a Stihl petrol strimmer. He said: The quads are used by the ball collectors and without these the balls need to be picked up by hand and there are thousands.
They were used for jobs on a daily basis.
The green mower is being used on a daily basis and is specifically for golf and bowling greens as it cuts as short as four or five millimetres.
Mr Muller said the course had good security measures in place, but they would now be paying to have those improved further. He said: You just don t expect it to happen.
Locks were broken and our container was also broken into, so please use it as an opportunity to take a check on your own security- although ours is pretty solid and we ve got cameras everywhere, it can still happen.
The thieves were using a short wheelbase white transit van in the incident. A North Wales Police spokesman said: I can confirm that North Wales Police are investigating after a property was broken into at Llanerch Park Trefnant, St Asaph, sometime between mid-evening Wednesday, August 16 and about 7am the following morning Thursday, August 17.
It is likely thieves would have needed a vehicle to have taken the items away.
We are eager to hear from anyone who was in the area and saw any suspicious vehicle or activity at the time of the break-in and we are reminding the local community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately to police.
Alternatively phone 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote RC17124926.
Extra security measures will be in place this week as Belfast’s Vital festival kicks off at Boucher Road Playing Fields in the wake of recent terror attacks.
With 60,000 plus music fans expected to descend on the site this week to see Muse1 and Tiesto2 , those attending are being advised to adhere to the policies put in place by organisers who say they are mindful of recent terrorist incidents in UK and elsewhere. Rucksacks and large handbags are not permitted at the event and searches of bags will be carried out.
The PSNI3 canine unit will also be patrolling the area. Belfast Vital event controller Paul Scott has reassured the public that extra security measures will be in place in the wake of recent terror attacks.
He told Belfast Live: “We have been working with our friends at PSNI for the last number of months to ensure that persons who arrive for the gigs are safe.
“We are very mindful of what has happened both in Great Britain and elsewhere so there will be an enhanced security operation in place, there will be a fairly thorough check of persons coming in, the PSNI will be monitoring the roads coming in to ensure the safety of our patrons both inside and outside the venue.
VITAL event controller Paul Scott surveys preparation work from the stage ahead of this week’s major music festival at the Boucher Road playing fields in Belfast. (Image: Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk)
“Don’t be bringing rucksacks or large handbags, certainly ladies are welcome to bring a small, reasonably sized handbag but don’t be arriving with suitcases or rucksacks as you will not be permitted into the venue sadly.”
PSNI Chief Inspector Stephen McCauley is urging those attending the gigs to stay safe and follow police and security staff guidance.
“We want to make this event as safe as possible for all concerned that is our main concern . We want people to come and enjoy the event but to be safe when they are doing so.
“We’ve put all the provisions in place that we can but ultimately it’s the responsibility of those attending, we have a mixed audience of those that are under 18 and those that are allowed in under 16 with the accompaniment of an adult who must be aged over 25 and ID will be required,” he said.
PSNI drugs sniffer dog Jaz will be on duty at the VITAL music festival at the Boucher Road playing fields in Belfast this week.
He continued: “When you are coming to this event we would encourage you if you are doing to drink, please drink responsibly, obviously under 18s can’t drink and where anyone comes to the event with drink or substances that they shouldn’t ave we will obviously be addressing that and you do run the risk of not being permitted into the event.
“So please come, be responsible and enjoy the event, but overall please stay safe.”
Final preparations are underway for the VITAL music festival at the Boucher Road playing fields in Belfast this week. (Image: Alan Lewis- PhotopressBelfast.co.uk)
Those attending the gigs are also being advised that no car parking will be available around the Boucher Road area and so using public transport is strongly recommended. Translink is providing special coach, bus and train services for both performances on Wednesday, August 23 and Saturday, August 26. Translink’s Gemma Thompson said: “Balmoral Train Station is situated close to Boucher Playing Gields and we will enhance services throughout the day to bring people to the site.
“Coming home, late night rail services will run from Balmoral in both directions to Lisburn/Portadown and Belfast with onward connections to Carrickfergus, Bangor and Coleraine.
“These trains will operate following the concert from 10.45pm until 11.45pm subject to demand . Special return train tickets are still available to buy in the selected stations with prices from 5- 14.
“Special festival coaches will run from locations across Northern Ireland including Derry, Claudy, Dungiven, Maghera, Castledawson, Toomebridge, Newry, Banbridge, Strabane, Omagh, Ballygawley, Dungannon and Tamnamore .
Coach tickets are 17 and available to buy online only until 11am on the day of each concert.”
Pictured getting ready for the massive music gig are music fans l-r Elora Denny, Aine Kelly and Emma Lewis. (Image: Brian Morrison)
Passengers can pay on board the service, just 1.35 with a Smartlink car of 2 for a cash single fare .
Metro services to the event will be available every 12 minutes from 3.20pm-7.20pm outward and a return bus service will be available subject to demand.”
A security guard was attacked by two thugs outside a Tesco Express as they stole a cash box this afternoon.
The pair of crooks approached the cash-in-transit officer outside the store on Finch Road, Dovecot1 , and grabbed the security box he was carrying. Police descended on the scene at 3.55pm and found the guard had injured his hand.
Officers believe three men, who were wearing dark colouring and had their faces covered, left the scene in a different dark coloured car. A resident on Finch Lane said: I was in my garden when the police arrived .
I had noticed a lot of people standing around but the shops are always busy at this time so I hadn t noticed anything was wrong until then.
Very brazen at that time of the day, loads of people would have saw them. A shop owner on Finch Road said that he heard the incident happen from inside his store.
Cash van outside Tesco Express on Finch Road after two men robbed a security guard
He told the ECHO: I could hear shouting but by the time I got outside the car had sped down the road.
Loads of people were about at the time so we all saw the car.
People were over at the security guard checking he was ok but he didn t seem too badly injured.
I told the police when they were here that something needs to be done about the area.
There s trouble round here all the time and I don t like leaving my wife here alone in case something like this happens. A spokesman for the force said: Officers are currently at the scene of a cash-in-transit robbery in Dovecot.
We were called at 3.55pm today, to the Tesco Express on Finch Road to reports that two males had approached a security guard and grabbed a cash box.
No weapons are thought to have been used although the security guard suffered an injury to his hand.
The two males then left the area in a black Ford Galaxy which turned left onto Princess Drive in the direction of Deysbrook Lane.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 4065 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.