BUSINESS owners on a Canvey industrial estate claim they are being crippled by burglars after another was targeted.

Canvey Skip and Recycling, in Vikings Way, is the latest to be hit by raiders preying on firms on the Charfleets Industrial Estate.

Raiders broke through a fence to steal thousands of pounds worth of equipment and scrap metal, which they brazenly loaded in the firm’s own bins to transport away.

Zoe Clark, 38, who runs the business with her husband Stuart, 41, said their other business, Canvey Cash4 Clothes, had been targeted a week before.

Mrs Clark said: “It’s soul destroying. It’s so distressing because they are tools we have built up over eight years. Some of them are specific to our equipment and are hard to come by, but I don’t think they would have much of a second hand value.

“We are still able to operate, but them stealing the metal is a blow. ”

Mrs Clark added: “The manager of Charfleets said it was about the 20th break-in on Vikings Way since January and nobody has been caught.

“It’s happening on a regular basis, it’s almost every week now.”

Among the equipment stolen was a chainsaw, scrap metal, battery chargers, a welder and specialist tools, worth up to £4,000.

Rod Hall, who owns Design 4 Print, also on Vikings Way, fears he will be targeted next.

He said: “I am worried about my business. I am among only one or two who have not been targeted.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “An unknown suspect cut security fencing outside Canvey Skip Hire between August 20 and 21.

Between August 14 and 15, thieves gained entry to a secure unit at Cash 4 Clothes, by smashing a window, though nothing was taken.

“On the same night Island Gym, also on Viking Way, was broken into and a till with a small amount of cash was stolen.”