Arson-hit garage offers £5k reward

A £5,000 reward has been put up by a Wigan car showroom after an arson attack that put one of its staff in hospital.
The scene of devastation after the attackThe scene of devastation after the attack
The scene of devastation after the attack

But Chorley Nissan bosses say it is business as usual at their pierside business - despite last month’s attack causing £50,000 of damage.

Thugs set fire to two cars at the showroom on Pottery Road in the early hours of Saturday, October 21 and a security guard had to be taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

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It’s the third attack on the showroom in the last three years after criminals smashed windows in buildings and in cars ahead of the garage’s biggest ever sale in 2014.

The family-run business was then targeted by a gang who broke into the dealership late on Sunday evening, causing thousands of pounds of damage and stealing a £25,000 Ford Focus RS Turbo which is yet to be recovered.

But sales director Adam Turner is determined to battle on despite the “sickening” attack. He said: “It’s been really hard to take, especially after the vandalism we experienced a few years ago.

“We thought we’d seen the worst then, so to have to go through the same thing again is a real blow. The arson attack has come as a huge shock to everyone at the Wigan dealership, but the team are pulling together to make sure it’s business as usual.

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“Everyone here is determined to make sure that mindless thugs and thieves don’t win the day. We want to help the authorities find the people responsible.

“That’s why we’re offering a £5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and successful prosecution. We will be posting CCTV images to our Facebook and Twitter pages, so people can help spread the word.”

After a huge clean-up operation over the last two weeks with staff working overtime, the showroom is now open as usual with a huge New Car Event continuing.

Mr Turner added: “Hopefully the people of Wigan will rally round too and show they won’t let the vandals and thieves win.

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“Wigan is a loyal town and we know they will be devastated to see this happening in their community.”

Crews were called to the showroom at around 2.30am on October 21. They found some tyres in a compound were alight and the fire had spread to the surrounding fencing and a couple of cars on the premises. The flames had also reached the fascia boards of the building, which was full of thick black smoke.

The employee on duty at the site suffered smoke inhalation and was taken by ambulance to hospital for a check-up. Firefighters had to work quickly to contain the blaze and prevent further damage on the site, especially as it was getting dangerously near to a diesel tank.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101.