THIEVES have smashed their way into the warehouse belonging to porridge firm Stoats, making off with thousands of pounds of electrical goods – and hundreds of breakfast bars.
The firm’s new apple and cinnamon flavour bars, which have not gone on sale yet, were stolen.
The offices of the Portobello firm were turned upside down in the raid, with tea bags strewn around the office and goods totalling £2500 stolen in the raid.
Forensic officers poring over the crime scene found a suspicious footprint that has now been sent for analysis.
But it’s the 15 cases of Stoats’ yet-to-be-released breakfast bars that may prove a vital clue for detectives attempting to trace the culprits.
Tony Stone, 33, the firm’s managing director said the stolen snacks could be a “smoking gun” in the case.
“If there are people with these products the only place they could have been taken from is this theft,” he said.
“If someone is eating those I want to know who they are because these bars are totally unique and anyone trying to off-load them will be the men we’re after.”
Crooks used a crowbar to force entry to the West Telferton business before ransacking offices, tearing out drawers and making off with two laptops, two mobile phones and a video camera.
As a result of the heist – carried out in the early hours of Good Friday – Mr Stone said he was now installing a new security system including CCTV and alarms to protect the firm against future break-ins.
“The place was trashed and looked like a total bomb site,” he said. “They snapped the locks to get in and went through all the stations, tossing everything everywhere. Bins were kicked over with tea bags strewn around the place.
“You can see it was frantic and they just rattled through what they could and then got out.
“One of our vans was parked outside which had got a flat battery and they have taken the van key from inside the premises and tried to start it.
“They chucked the key back inside which was the only good things about it.”
Mr Stone added: “This has been a kick in the teeth and it’s horrible feeling that people have gone through your stuff. We’re only a small company trying to make a go of it and this is hassle we don’t need.”
A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating a break-in to a business premises at West Telferton overnight from Thursday night into Friday morning last week. Anyone with any information should contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
APPETITE FOR SUCCESS
EDINBURGH-based firm Stoats launched in 2004 as an antidote to the unhealthy grub served at music festivals. It started dishing out porridge at gigs before branching into snack bars.
The firm opened a warehouse in Portobello five years ago and has been growing the business steadily in the meantime.
There are now eight flavours of Stoats porridge bars, all sourced from Scottish oats. They sell for around a pound each.