And finally… Builder’s stolen goods recovered following £15k reward

Thousands of pounds worth of stolen building equipment, including a 20ft car transporter and 2,000 pieces of scaffolding, has been recovered, thanks to an appeal in a local newspaper.

Dundee builder Stephen Mellor requested information in The Courier about his equipment, stolen from his premises two weeks ago. He offered a £15,000 reward for its return — which he intends to pay.

The appeal came after thieves stripped his city-centre business of heavy machinery worth more than £30,000. As a result of the coverage, he was given a tip-off pointing him to where the equipment had been taken.

Mr Mellor told The Courier he had just finished his breakfast on Wednesday morning when his phone rang.

“I got a call on my mobile phone from someone I know telling me where my stuff was,” he said.

“It turned out to be in Brown Street, just a stone’s throw away from my own premises, so I went and peeked in the door and saw my trailer there.

“My name had been sprayed over but I recognised it because it had been specially modified for me and I know it well.

“They even used my own spray paint to do it. My Jeep was in there as well and some scaffolding but it’s only about £12,000 worth of equipment back.

“I don’t know what’s happened to the rest of it but hopefully that’ll turn up somewhere too. The personal stuff they stole hasn’t been found yet either.

“The police are at the warehouse now and the inquiry is ongoing. Apart from the missing stuff there are also lots of hidden costs, like getting the signage replaced.

“I’m going to have to pay the reward so it’s been an expensive morning for me but at least I’ve got some of the stuff back.

“I had just phoned The Courier to say thanks for the great spread in the paper and I got the phone call about 10 minutes later.”

The robbers stole the goods from construction firm Stephen Mellor Plant on Miln Street.

The haul also included a two-and-a-half tonne tipping trailer, a one-ton car trailer, a generator, an orange mini-digger, a cement mixer and 100 litres of red diesel.

Mr Mellor said the theft has had a huge impact on his business, with three contracts valued at £120,000 affected, seven people paid off and only four workers able to be kept on.

The former BT engineer said: “I’ve been working seven days a week for six years to build up the toolkit and it feels like I’ve been put back to square one. I’m absolutely sick.”

The thieves also stole two bottles of whisky, a shotgun, a lamp, a tweed jacket and even Stephen’s daughter’s scooter.

He believes stealing such a large amount of goods would have required at least a two-day operation.

Mr Mellor added the thieves knew where the CCTV camera was to turn it off and where to gain entry and believes they had “scoped” the building out well before they went in.

Mr Mellor is now hoping the discovery of some of the equipment will lead to the recovery of the remaining goods.

“Somebody must know something,” he added.

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