A GANG of crooks smashed their way into an industrial unit in a daring raid which netted £16,000 worth of gardening tools.
The highly-organised thieves went from being light-fingered to green-fingered as they made off with lawnmowers, litter pickers and hedge strimmers.
They forced their way into property owned by a landscaping firm based in Linwood’s Riverpark Industrial Estate to nick gear worth thousands of pounds.
The Paisley Daily Express understands that the culprits burst into the unit – run by UK-wide gardening firm ISS Facility Services Landscaping – via an emergency exit.
The total number of gardening items stolen is 65 items and they were valued at around £16,500.
It is thought the crooks stashed the items in a van or a truck before speeding away from the unit, situated just off Bridge Street.
They will then try and punt the stolen equipment on to other businesses, either at home or abroad.
The theft took place between 5pm on Thursday, and 6.55am yesterday when workers at the firm discovered signs of forced entry at the rear of the building.
Yesterday, police from the special Community Investigation Unit (CIU) were probing the theft.
CCTV from around the area is to be studied, while forensics teams will examine the crime scene for DNA and fingerprints.
Officers will also conduct door-to-door enquiries at neighbouring premises.
Inspector Willie Paterson, of Johnstone Police Office, appealed for witnesses.
He said: “Due to the high volume and bulk of the items that were stolen from ISS, it is very likely that vehicle has been involved to move them.
“I would ask anyone who saw a suspicious vehicle – in particular a goods vehicle, van or truck – close to the rear of the premises overnight to get in touch with officers as soon as possible.”
ISS Facility Services Landscaping is the largest grounds maintenance service provider in the UK, with contracts covering the whole of the country.
An ISS spokesman said that the company could not make a comment yesterday, due to the ongoing police investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Paisley Police Office on 0141 532 5900.
Alternatively you can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.