Sunday, 17 June 2012

The End Of The Beginning For BC Cars Part One

I'd had more than my fair share of vandalism on the pitch, and out of the 9 years i had been operating from my main road site i figured I had worked at least one year for nothing as I had spent more than my average yearly profits on replacing stolen equipment and damage rectification, thats without counting the costs of Stop Lock pros £500 CCTV £5000 and interactive web cam £2500 that I'd had to have installed to deter all but the most determinned thief or vandal,

The CCTV meant that I could keep an eye on my business from any computer or phone, and jump in my car to race to the garage if i saw or was warned by the world wide audience who watched my web cam that there was any suspicious characters on the pitch, That wasnt without its drawbacks as one of the people who looked very shifty turned out to be me, and also it allowed people to take pictures when you werent exactly looking your best :-)

Over the years incidents had ranged from, thefts of cars, wheel trims stolen, spoilers ripped off, windows smashed, paintwork scratched, offices broken into, once my CCTV even showed a guy removing every door protector and badge off a BMW M3, the thief had pulled up in front of one of my cctv cameras in his works van, fortunately the van was sign written, so it was a case of "Leave this one to me Sherlock!" he was from another garage he wasn't too hard to track down, and i think part of his punishment was to be kicked out of MENSA,

Lancashire Evening Post Story On BCCARS Web Cam

There was lots of damage caused quite innocently too (By Thicko's), for instance who would have thought dragging your girlfriend across a bonnet would cost £300 to repair,

or that someone who buys a BMW wouldn't want your name scratched in the bonnet.Lancashire Evening Post Hooped Hat Vandal Story

I noticed that the bonnets on two of the cars were damaged, and it turned out they were done by a guy collapsing drunk on them, other lads were passed out on the floor, dont know what sort of mates they were as when he came to he dropped his trousers and sat directly on one of their faces,got up and sat on another unlucky victim, I imagine it would be a long time before those two lads got drunk again.

Once when we returned after the christmas holidays i noticed some strange marks on a bonnet, to my surprise when i rewound the CCTV they had been made on Christmas Eve by a couple having sex on it, now as nice as that lads Christmas present must have been, Im sure it wasnt worth my car having to spend time in the paint shop, and probably him having to spend time in the Clap Clinic geting the umbrella treatment, the car was on my front row, and my pitch was on a main road, they were performing in front of passing traffic, class act, and not the type you'd want to take home to meet your Mum, theres an expression used in the Motor trade to describe a car in very bad condition "Its as rough as a bears arse" I imagine now that when bears describe something in very bad condition they say "Its as rough as that birds arse that got rogered on the bonnet of one of Barrie Cramptons cars" because the paintwork where she had been sat looked like it had been rubbed with sand paper.

It wasn't just me that had suffered either, there were 4 detached houses being built on a piece of land next door, the builders had left a tipper truck on site and the Yobbos had pushed it and crashed it into a newly built double garage all but demolishing it and causing £5000 worth of damage.
Lancashire Evening Post Story

There were 3 of us sharing the pitch and we had been talking for a long time about getting a night watchman and splitting the cost between us, but when i arrived at work one morning Mal one of the guys told me about a visitor we'd had the night before, and i didnt like what i'd heard.

At first the "visitor" had questioned who was in charge of our security, Mal said he didnt like the look of him so he'd said that we had someone already, apparently the guy had become quite angry and said that whoever it was that we had he would soon be taking over.

I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen next and I suggested we call the police, the 2 guys i worked with said no ( understandably one of the guys at our garage was in his 60's and worked quite late at night on his own ) they didn't want any reprisals and they said they wanted to wait to see if he came back again, I checked my CCTV and again it did its job, I studied our visitor and he seemed like a pretty serious sought of guy who was expecting trouble, why else would he be wearing a bullet proof vest?

My worst fears were confirmed when my mobile rang at 11.00 pm one night, the caller told me he was out walking his dog and he had noticed that someone had poured paint stripper all over my cars. Great that was just what i needed.

Seven cars had been damaged, bonnets, wings, bumpers, grille's alloys, headlights, indicators, all ruined and would cost thousands to repair, believe me there is nothing more infuriating than watching some bastard in a balaclava causing damage to your cars and knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

Historically It was my best selling month and half my stock had been decimated, the damaged cars on the front row were my best ones and probably accounted for 60% of my capital investment, it would take me a month to get them back to saleable condition and again i decided not to go through my insurers but to bear the cost my self.

The police came and yet again they couldnt help, i went against my colleagues wishes and told the cops about the "coincidence" and my suspicions but as we didn't have any concrete evidence there was nothing they could do, it made me laugh because in the past it had seemed there was nothing they could do when we had got concrete evidence, but i realised that the police were as frustrated as I was.

With the financial losses caused by the accident i had been involved in a few months earlier and now this incident the "Protection" guy had ensured that I couldn't have afforded to pay him even if I had wanted to, I began to understand how ordinary honest people get forced into desperate situations through no fault of their own.

Momentarily i reflected on my days of target and combat shooting, I had won the Double A class clay pigeon competition at the local shoot several times, no easy task as my shotgun was fitted with full and extra full chokes which concentrated the shot pattern making it a lot harder to hit the clay pigeons but when you did they wouldn't just break they would disintegrate spectacurlarly into a cloud of dust, I was equally proficient with my 9mm Beretta 92 FS hand gun (The one favoured by Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon and Bruce Willis in Die Hard) I could easily put 10 shots in a 6 inch diameter group at 25 yards, and with a .22 counter balanced Target Pistol my highest score at the club included 7 dead centre bullseyes, If only we had been in the "Wild West" instead of the "North West" the "Protection" guy would get to see how much protection a bullet proof vest would give you against 10 head shots.

Back to reality my Family and Friends knew that i was too stubborn to pay anyone and iI wouldnt back down, they also knew what would happen if things escalated and they urged me to quit, I knew myself that I needed to get out of this business, but believe it or not that wasnt the final straw.

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