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Firm’s ‘wholesale theft’ fears as goods worth £10,000 stolen en route from Europe

An equestrian boot firm is raising concerns about delays in importing products after it lost products worth over £10,000 en route from Europe.

Tuffa Boots founder Michelle Girling told H&H 56 pairs of boots were stolen from a consignment that came from Portugal this month.

“They opened the boxes methodically, and took four pairs from each carton of six, then closed them, re-taped them and put all the straps back on,” she said.

“They put the shrink wrap back on and put them on the pallets so when they were delivered, everything looked intact, and the correct number of cartons, but when we opened the shrink wrap, we could see the boxes had been tampered with.”

Ms Girling said the delays on freight coming from the Continent she has been experiencing since Brexit may have allowed the thieves their opportunity.

“The freight company doesn’t seem to have any ideas, although they must have been well organised; they’d have needed a van to put the good in,” she said.

Ms Girling contacted police, then last Friday found some boots of the same type, which she believes are some of the stolen pairs, for sale on eBay.

“I’ve told the police, who have done nothing, and eBay, and they’ve done nothing,” she said.

“I’m so worried about freight coming into the country and it just being a free-for-all, and then it’s an easy route to sell them on eBay, with no one doing anything. The world is hard enough anyway, then there’s all the post-Brexit costs and delays, without wholesale theft.”

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A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman told H&H: “Police had a report of riding boots worth £10,640 stolen in transit to a company in Dereham Road, Ovington, Thetford, some time between 23 January and 2 February.

“Enquiries are still ongoing and the freight companies involved are carrying out their own investigations.

“Anyone with information should contact PC Stuart Doe at Norfolk Constabulary on 101 quoting reference number 36/7392/21.”

H&H has contacted eBay for comment.

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