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Police probe links between recovery lorry thefts in Bradford
10:05am Friday 11th July 2014 in News
A SECOND Bradford garage boss has revealed how thieves daubed its recovery truck with white paint in a bid to disguise the fact it was stolen.
Eddie Sokulski said the raiders had turned their bright yellow and blue 7.5 ton Mercedes tilt and slide vehicle white.
Mr Sokulski, a partner at GL Autos, in Dockfield Road, Shipley, came forward after reading in the Telegraph & Argus how another garage boss had suffered a similar fate.
Ray Calvert, owner of Quarry House garage in Undercliffe, Bradford, had told how his beloved maroon recovery truck - with a painted sign and a picture of his late father-in-law on it - had been resprayed white by thieves who are thought to have stolen it for the expensive digger it was carrying.
It was recovered, with damage to its sides and interior, after a suspected drink driver was seen driving it on the M62.
A 43-year-old Leeds man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of theft of a vehicle.
Mr Sokulski revealed that his brightly-coloured recovery truck, which had been stolen from his compound on the evening of Friday, May 30, had been resprayed when it was recovered in Ossett, near Wakefield, nearly a month later.
Mr Sokulski said: "When it was stolen, our truck was bright yellow and blue. When we got it back the cab and sides had been repainted white and the chassis, which had been bright yellow, had become black."
The thieves had also caused about £3,000 damage and Mr Sokulski fears it is now a write off.
He said: "Whoever stole it has put some effort in to disguise it. They have spent a lot of time trying to hide the vehicle's identity, so they could use it.
"I definitely think the two incidents are linked. They are similar types of vehicle with similar types of use, and they have both been painted white. Someone is targeting them."
Mr Sokulski said they had been told a third recovery truck had been stolen from a garage in Oakenshaw and had been repainted white when it was recovered.
He added: "People with garage businesses should be very concerned and should keep their vehicles out of sight."
Chief Inspector Damien Miller, of Bradford District Police, said: "Inquiries are under way into both offences and analysts are looking to see if there are any links between the two."