Thieving gang target joiner's van as he got a sandwich from Tesco

Colleagues of Dan Frith have set-up a fund-raising page after his van was targeted twice in just two months while working in Coventry
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

A joiner has been left with 'no livelihood' after Coventry thieves targeted his van twice in three months. During the first theft, Dan Thrift had parked on the car park at the Cannon Park Tesco to go and get a sandwich.

When he returned, he found that thieves had drilled a hole in the side of his Ford Transit Custom van and stole all of his tools from inside. If that was not heartbreaking enough, less than two months later, while working at the school, his van was broken into again.

It has left the joiner, who lives in Stoke on Trent and is a sub-contractor for Oakland Joinery and Interiors, without thousands of pounds worth of tools, the company has said.

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Rob Deacon, commercial manager at the company, said: "The first one he had nipped off to get some dinner, his van was on the Tesco car park and literally within the time he has gone in and got a sandwich, whoever it was had drilled through the side door and got in.

"They barred it open, they took thousands and thousands of pounds worth of tools, it was all of his kit."

The second time, just a matter of months later, his van was targeted while parked within the school gates. "His van was done on the school car park, he was working in the building and they (the thieves) have gone for the exact same space, and drilled in again," the commercial manager said.

"This time, he hadn't got his full kit with him, as he hadn't had time to replace it, but he had a lot of batteries and chargers taken."

The thieves not only took his 'livelihood' by stealing the tools, they also caused more than £1,000 worth of damage to the van.

"It's heartbreaking really for him, this is his livelihood they (the thieves) have taken," he said. "Tradesmen take years building up all of their kit and it has all been taken."

He continued: "We have had a theft in Sheffield recently, but not like these two, well certainly not two in the space of three months, and one was literally while he was getting a sandwich.

"Both of them (the thefts) took place in broad daylight too."

To help the sub-contractor, who has worked for the firm for seven years, Mr Deacon has set-up a fund-raiser to help him replace his stolen tools.

"I just wanted to do something to help him," he said, adding that they also want to raise awareness of thieves, who he says must be on the prowl.

"They (the thieves) know what they are looking for, they must be going round looking for these type of vans," he added. "The way they are breaking into them and how quickly they are doing it, they know what they are doing."

He said that both thefts were reported to the police and he claims that some of his tools, which had 'Frith' written on them, were spotted being sold on Facebook Marketplace.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the appeal, can do so via the Gofundme page here

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