A BRAZEN thief was caught on camera breaking into a printing firm and searching for things to steal before making off with laptop.
The burglar, who acted alone, forced his way into Full Spectrum Print Media, based in Bowlers Croft, Basildon, by jemmying open the front door.
Once inside, the thief rifled through items at the printing firm using a torch so he could see what he was stealing.
Lee Hammond, the firm’s owner, said he was disgusted by the break-in, which is the latest in a spate of burglaries.
He said: “It’s just disgusting, we’ve been burgled about three times before the latest incident. He jemmied the front door with a crowbar.
“We have CCTV footage of the thief, he was acting alone. From what we can see, it appeared he didn’t know his surroundings very well. He looked like an opportunist to me.
“Thankfully he only stole a laptop, there’s not many valuables in the shop. We don’t leave any cash in unit because we always do electronic bank transfers. It’s not safe leaving money behind.
“The laptop costed £700, it’s insured but it’s the all damage and hassle he’s caused us.”
Mr Hammond said the burglar tripped the alarm after he forced his way into the unit. The alarm alerted one of his colleagues who was the point of contact for any emergencies.
He said: “The alarm must’ve scared the burglar so he only had a short amount of time to look around.
“Unfortunately the thief had escaped before my colleague arrived. He arrived six minutes later.
“We’ve had previous break-ins. We opened the business in March 2009 and we’ve had our computers stolen.
“All we can do is improve our security. The more difficult we make it for thieves the more likely they’ll stay away from our business.”
Mr Hammond said there have been several other break-ins in the other industrial units.
He said: “Police have said other units in this industrial site have been burgled. I wouldn’t say the area is very rough, but then again you wouldn’t want to walk down on your own at night.”
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Police received reports of a burglary in Bowlers Croft, Basildon, at around 4.15am on Sunday.
“Suspects have gained entry by forcing a door open before carrying a search of the building. They then left empty handed.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact Basildon CID on 101 or Crimestoppers.”