Bolton’s Wilson & Co Vauxhall suffered more than £30k of damage last month after ‘car cannibals’ broken into a storage compound three times and stole bonnets, bumpers and headlights.

Owner Robin Wilson criticised the lack of response from police, after a witness who reported the crime was told it was not an emergency. A week later, the police closed the case. “It beggars belief,” he said. “It’s going to cost us at least £10k on each.”

He added that because the police “see it as a business, and you have insurance, it is a victimless crime”.

MD Mick Cliffe said the retailer has had to remove vehicles from the compound “as the insurance would not let us keep them there”.

Lookers Mercedes-Benz Stoke also suffered a fire last week caused by arson. Four cars were found alight by firefighters, and a suspect was later seen entering the retailer and pouring petrol over one of the cars. He left the scene on an electric scooter.