Distributor Target Components is urging resellers to be wary of being offered overly cheap stock from unusual sources, after £300,000 worth of stock was stolen from its warehouse on the weekend.
MD Paul Cubbage has told PCR that thieves took a variety of products from the Castleford, West Yorkshire-based supplier - predominantly servers, laptops and monitors.
"Whoever has done this obviously has no computer knowledge – they’ve taken the things that look most like computers and have left other stuff there that’s much more valuable," he said.
"Resellers need to be wary of anything that comes through from an unlikely or unusual source, or anything that sounds a bit too cheap. Be vigilant. This stock is going to be out on the market, so resellers should be careful of where it’s from.
"If they do receive a strange offer from an unusual source, they should try and verify the source and see if it makes sense. If they’ve any concern whatsoever, I’d suggest they contact their local police, say they’re aware of break-in that the Castleford Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is looking after and that there’s a chance the stock has come from there."
Cubbage added: “These things happen – it’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last."
Target also had a break-in last year, with much less stock stolen, and the police caught the intruders within one month.
"We’ve got good footage [of the latest break-in], so if they can catch them again they can trace and recover the stolen goods," Cubbage explained.
"It was a different method of operation (MO) last year, but the two parallels are that the security systems failed on both occasions for different reasons.
"Last year they cut through a lot of the wiring, which shouldn’t have made a jot of difference, but it was a failure on the [third-party] security company’s side. This time they’ve disabled the sensors. They effectively breached three levels of security before they even got into the building. Both break-ins were relatively sophisticated."
Despite suffering the break-in, warehouse staff at Target have worked hard counting stock over the past 24 hours and the distributor is now trading again.
In an email sent to customers today, Target confirmed it is trading again with online ordering back up and running.
"The biggest headache was working out what was gone and what wasn’t," Cubbage commented. "As usual everybody pulled together – it showed the merit, calibre and the teamwork of the people here.
"And like some miracle, we managed to get about £85,000 worth of orders out through the door. Which, given that we only had phone orders – as we closed the website to warn our customers – it was a good show by everybody.
"There are real positives to take from this. We were back up and running pretty much straight away. Everything has been counted and most things have been recounted now, so we should be okay from that point of view.
"We ordered replen stock yesterday and identified the areas that were out completely. So the recovery has been very good. And the other positive was the goodwill from our customers. The responses we've had from them have been brilliant."