A GANG stole £40,000 of stock and tools from business units.

Burglars broke through the gates at the Angora Business Park, in Peartree Road, Colchester.

They then broke into BHP Motorsport, Piccolo Moto, Elms Personal Fitness and Signace Signmakers and loaded the loot into a Renault Scenic and a Citroen van.

Dalton Scarlett, 19, from BHP Motorsport, said: “They tried to get in the front and then broke in through the fire exit.

“They ran towards the cameras and pushed them out of the way.

“There were about six of them in two vehicles.

“They took massive amounts of tools”.

The top-of-the-range tools were worth about £30,000 and had been built up over several years.

They included welding equipment, an engine crane, a transmission jack and many more branded items including Snap-On and Mac Tools.

Mr Scarlett said: “It has caused a massive disruption and is really frustrating.

“It took a lot of years to build them up and one night for people to steal them.”

Mark Stonebank, who runs Elms Personal Fitness Gym, said: “They smashed through the fire exit. It is frustrating, but we were quite lucky.

“They took a laptop and some cash.

“They obviously knew what they were after and it was tools.”

Piccolo Moto next door was not so lucky.

Thousands of pounds of specialist clothing and accesories were stolen with shelves cleared completely.

They also stole a one-of-akind motocross bike worth several thousand pounds from a stand.

The gang packed up a van full of the stolen goods, during the raids.

Rob Tuck, owner of Piccolo Moto, said: “I got a call at 7am from the gym to say we had been broken into and not to touch anything for forensics.

“We have been here two years and they have cleared us out of textile clothing and 1,500 accessories.

“It is very frustrating, but what can you do?”

Christos Fantousi, from Signace Signmakers, added: “They took about £200 from a cash draw, but compared to the others we were lucky.

“It is frustrating, but I can carry on working. What can a garage do without tools?

“You worry they will come back and we all hope they are caught.”

CCTV footage of the raid, which happened overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, has been handed to the police.

Anyone with information can call Colchester CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.