A BUSINESSMAN has seen the best and worst of human nature - with his kind-hearted suppliers coming to the rescue after a £30,000 raid.

Gordon Ainsby, part-owner of Classic Replicas UK, which hand makes sports cars in Wellington Road, Bridgwater, said three welding machines, a plasma cutter and a large tool box full of tools were taken.

The theft was discovered last Monday morning and is believed to have happened a day earlier.

Three of Mr Ainsby's suppliers have since provided replacement tools and Mr Ainsby said: “If it wasn't for my suppliers it could have closed us down.

“This incident has knocked us back a couple of months and we have got to find new tools, but it was really good of our suppliers to rally round us.”

Another business in Bridgwater had £15,000 of tools taken days earlier, and again its suppliers came forward to replace some of the stolen items.

The owner of that business, who did not want to be identified, said: “We were quite lucky because we were able to get more tools from our suppliers.

“If that hadn't happened, I could have been looking at having to lay off staff.”

Police said a 32-year-old man from the Weston-super-Mare area had been arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection with the theft from Classic Replicas.

He has been released on bail.

Investigations are continuing into the other incident.