MACHETE-wielding thieves beat two guard dogs before stealing valuable stock from a scrapyard.
More than £1,500 worth of car parts and tools were snatched from Queensferry Car Spares in Deeside in the dead of night.
The incident came to light as Flintshire Council issued a warning after a rise in the theft of scrap metals across the country, with a promise that there would be a clamp down.
Emma Bennett, who has owned the car-breaker’s business for six years, said they have had a large number of break-ins over the years.
She said: “We have been broken into three times since April.
“The most recent time we were broken into the dogs Bella and Tyler were battered and a machete was left on site.
“The back of one of the dogs had been kicked so he was struggling to walk for a while which has left him quite timid.”
She said she also believed the dogs had been drugged by the thieves.
“They weren’t themselves the next day, and Tyler could hardly walk and his eyes were set back into his head,” she said.
“We had to give them a lot of water and by the end of the day they seemed to be ok.”
Emma said it was lucky herself or her colleague Andrew were not at the yard in the most recent theft.
She said: “Sometimes myself or Andrew my colleague will call in at night and anyone could be here working until 10pm.
“If one of us were there when they had the machete, who knows what would have happened?
“They have the guts to use it if they carry one.”
Flintshire Council is working to introduce a new Government licensing scheme to prevent scrap metal thefts in the industry.
Under the new scheme, all scrap yards and mobile collectors will have to be licensed, there will be no cash transactions allowed and records of those selling or buying scrap will have to be kept.
Those wishing to become licensed will have to show they are suitable persons.
The scheme is aimed at protecting businesses including Emma’s, in order to make selling on stolen scrap metal more difficult.
Of the recent thefts, she said: “They broke in and took as much scrap as they could and they took all of our tools.”
She said the thefts were having a detrimental impact on her business, with customers thinking they were closing down.
“People have been asking us if we were closed down because we can’t fix their cars,” she said.
“We are trying to run a business but we have no tools.
“It’s a worry [that they will come back].
“I don’t think they will come back for a while because it comes in swathes when they’ve realised they’ve had everything there is to take - it’s the next six to eight months we have to look to.
“I’m having to go home at night now with the tools and it shouldn’t have to be like that.”
Discussing the licence plans, cabinet member for public protection, waste and recycling, Councillor Kevin Jones said: “The scrap metal sector in Flintshire is a significant contributor to the local economy.
“The new licensing requirements will provide a level playing field for business and will prevent rogue operators from undermining legitimate licensed businesses.”