Ram raiders started fire which destroyed Honda show bikes

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Ram raiders are suspected to have started a warehouse fire which destroyed Honda show bikes worth around £240,000.

The thieves set light to a stolen Range Rover used in the attack before escaping on two stolen motorcycles.

About 30 bikes – 20 fewer than initially feared - were destroyed when the blaze tore through the premises of Honda’s events agency, KCS Group, early on Tuesday.

Bikes stored there appeared on Honda’s stand at the motorcycle show in London’s Excel Centre last month. They were due to be used at other Honda events such as dealer open days and included virtually every model in the range.

The ram raiders drove through the roller shutters of the warehouse next door before breaking through a breezeblock partition wall.

About 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines were called to the blaze in an industrial estate in Corby, Northamptonshire, just after 5.30am.

KCS staff were alerted by security guards and arrived to see the fire spreading to their premises.

Lindsay Shields, the firm’s head of operations, said about 30 machines were destroyed with a total value of around £240,000.  

Northamptonshire Police said: ‘The vehicle used in the suspected arson was a Range Rover which had been stolen from Caldecott in Leicestershire.

‘We can also confirm that two suspects left the scene on motorbikes stolen from KCS.’

Fire and Rescue Service area manager David Harding said: ‘At the height of the incident we had 10 pumps from across the county and in the region of 70 fire officers in attendance.’

No one is thought to have been injured. 

In a statement issued through Honda UK, KCS owner John Walker said: 'We are understandably distressed by what has happened... Despite this, we are putting all our efforts into rebuilding the business and replacing the assets so that we can continue to provide Honda and their dealer networks across all areas of the business with the events service and support we have been proud to deliver over the last 13 years.'

A Honda UK spokeswoman added: 'Until the full inventory has been finalised and further discussions with insurance have taken place, we are not able to provide information about specific quantities of [destroyed] items or overall values.'

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell