THIEVES stole machinery worth around £45,000 from a business, after cutting the roofs from shipping containers.

Four containers belonging to Knighton Countryside Management situated at Enterprise Park near Piddlehinton were broken into.

Mark Gibbens, managing director of the company – which specialises in woodland management and looking after the environment – said he arrived at the yard in the early hours of Monday and discovered that the equipment was missing.

Items reported stolen include 29 chainsaws, blowers, hedge cutters and brushcutters, amongst others.

Mr Gibbens said: "We turned up in the yard on Monday morning at the usual time, around 4.15am, and opened one of the containers.

"It was pretty dark at first so I didn't notice what had happened straight away – and then I realised how much had been emptied out.

"The containers are usually filled top to bottom, but about 60 machines have been stolen.

"It wasn't the best way to start the week, put it like that. They'd cut in through the roof, the person who did it obviously knew what they were doing. There's no two ways about it, it was an incredibly professional job.

"As a rural business we know we're a target for this sort of thing, and we'll be stepping up security as a result of what's happened.

"It's pretty shocking, but we know there's been a lot of it about."

Police say the incident happened sometime between 11am on Saturday February 23 and 4.15am, Monday February 25.

PC Billy Taylor, of Dorset Police, said: "This incident has had a considerable financial impact on the business and we are determined to identify those responsible.

"Various enquiries are ongoing and I am appealing to anyone who has any information about the incident or witnessed any suspicious activity on the site over the weekend to contact me.

"I would also like to speak to anyone who has seen any of the items for sale locally or online in suspicious circumstances."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55190029191.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via