BROTHERS facing bankruptcy after burglars ransacked £80,000 worth of tools from their warehouse were left to wait more than a day for detectives to arrive.

Mechanics Richard and Paul Newport were devastated on Wednesday to find their workshop in Steventon Storage Facility had been ripped apart overnight and emptied by thieves.

Father-of-three Paul Newport claimed his 6.30am emergency call was met at 1.30pm by a forensics officer, who was stunned to be first at the scene and explained officers needed to be there first.

There was no further contact until 4pm when two PCSOs arrived, but realised they were out of their depth and passed it on to detectives from CID, who eventually arrived at 1pm on Thursday.

Mr Newport said: "It's a joke. I'm not very impressed."

His wife Elizabeth, 48, added: "This could be heavy-duty serious organised crime operating around the country and they are not doing anything. More people could be being targeted."

Thames Valley Police confirmed it was called to a break-in at Steventon Storage Facility, which it believed happened at about 9.45pm on Tuesday.

The force believes three men gained entry to the premises and stolen valuable tools from cabinets.

Mr Newport, 40, said: "I got there and the gate and door were open and the lights were on. I got in and there was just dust everywhere. I was gutted. You can't earn a living without tools. My brother is devastated.

"I have always been around lorries and mechanics, it was my passion. But it can't be anymore."

He said four six-foot containers inside the garage in Hanney Road, worth £6,000 each, had been "smashed to bits" to expose £80,000 worth of specialist tools that were snatched.

The loot, which was not insured, included expensive brand Snap-on tools and those belonging to a part-timer and a young apprentice who also work at the garage.

Mrs Newport, who lives with her husband in Abingdon, said: "They have been building this collection for 20 years. This is their livelihood. It's like their identities have been stolen.

"He just became a granddad and he was so excited about having someone to pass on his tools to – he shed a tear over that.

"He is going to have to declare bankruptcy. This is life-changing for us."

Mr Newport claimed he could not afford insurance for the tools because they are so often targeted by thieves.

He compensated by splashing out on a security system including motion-triggered alarms, but they failed to sound during the break-in.

The couple believe the thieves, who they said were caught on CCTV wearing balaclavas, drove across a field and targeted the unit, which is at the back of the plot.

They appear to have cut open a barbed wire fence and torn through the warehouse walls.

Mrs Newport said she suspected the burglars "knew what they were doing" as they sprayed the warehouse with powder from fire extinguishers in a bid to conceal any fingerprints.

Gareth Ford-Lloyd, a spokesperson for TVP, refused to comment on the accusations over the tardiness of its response to the burglary.

A spokeswoman for police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, who is paid to hold the police to account, was unavailable to comment due to a prior engagement.