Electrician believes IKEA's one-way system led to £1,500 power tools being stolen from van

AN electrician who had £1,500 of tools stolen from his van outside IKEA believes the furniture giant needs to be doing more to stop car park crimes.

Simon Beisly believes the Bristol store's one-way set up makes it a particular target for thieves as shoppers are guaranteed to be inside the shop for at least five minutes.

The 48-year-old, who has run his own business for more than 10 years, had popped in for some candles when his van was broken into and the tools stolen.

It led to him having to borrow and replace tools while he was working on a home for television programme Grand Designs.

Mr Beisly, from Dursley, said CCTV cameras in the car park did not capture any footage of the theft, leading to his complaint to the Scandinavian chain.

He said the entire contents of his van were taken at around 12.30pm on April 28 and despite an alarm sounding and the lock punched out of the door, there were no witnesses.

He said: "How the store entry and exit system is planned was used to target my van, and everybody else's, owing to the fact that I was probably followed and got to the 'point of no return' on the 'one way' system.

"I was then held hostage during the time the thieves took to plunder my vehicle and leave me with no means to earn my living from then on.

"Ikea is the only store I know of that operates in this manner - any other supermarket you can enter and exit from virtually the same part of the building.

"Ikea has a probable five- to seven-minute time to travel from one end to the other, giving ample time for any would-be thief to help themselves to your belongings and make away with the goods."

Mr Beisly said he spoke to a security guard who said there had been an increase in similar incidents lately.

But store manager Federica Martellini said car park theft was a rare occurrence in Ikea and there had only been four incidents in the past five years.

She said: "At IKEA we take customer safety extremely seriously and work hard to deter and prevent crime at the store.

"Although car park theft is a rare occurrence at IKEA Bristol we are always reviewing our procedures to improve safety and security across the entire store site.

"We have worked alongside local authorities and the police to introduce preventative measures and regularly support them with crime prevention initiatives across the retail park.

"We are aware of the incident that took place in our car park on April 28.

"Although we have 15 cameras covering the car park and security guards situated throughout the site, unfortunately on this occasion the incident took place out of the view of one of the rotating cameras.

"We of course can understand the disappointment of the customer involved and have invited him to the store to discuss his experience to see if there is anything we can learn to help avoid similar incidents in the future."

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police confirmed the theft had been reported and investigations were taking place but added that no one had been arrested in connection with the theft.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting reference 5216 091 303.