A catering equipment hire firm from Sussex has been left counting its losses after thousands of pounds worth of items it rented it out appear to have been stolen.
Hire All, which is based in Hove, hired £3,000 worth of plates and glasses to a couple who said they needed it for a wedding but they have since gone missing without returning the goods.
The order, which totalled £314, included 300 white china plates, 300 highball water glasses, 300 champagne flutes, 300 six-ounce glasses and six chafing dishes.
Company owner, John Trueman, told The Argus that he realised something was up after no trace of the customers could be found at the address where the items were delivered.
“When we went to collect it there was no answer, but that happens sometimes. Then I went back and spoke to the building’s owners and they said the [customers] had been and gone.”
The new crates that the items were delivered in have also disappeared, the paper said.
Trueman hopes that somebody with information about the theft will come forward, but in the meantime he has been scouring catering equipment websites to see if the products are being offered on the second-hand market.
“I have looked on lots of catering equipment sites to see if I could find them, but have not been able to so far. It is very strange. We just thought that sooner or later we would get a phone-call from a venue to say, ‘we have got all your plates and glasses, come and pick them up.”
The theft has hit Hire All in the pocket because it now needs to purchase extra flutes and glasses to fulfil its bookings, but won’t receive a payout from its insurance company. It is only covered if somebody steals items from its premises, not if it delivers them.
Sussex Police said initial investigations suggest the suspects were acting under false names and used a stolen credit card.