A BUILDER who has been left unable to work after a thief stole his van is offering a £500 reward for the safe return of his vehicle.
Andrew Fearn, of Burton Lane, Oughtibridge, Sheffield, was preparing to leave for work when the keys he had left on the side in his kitchen were stolen.
He then heard his van being driven off from outside his home.
The white Ford Transit Luton freezer van, which he bought from a dealer for £10,000 just two weeks earlier, also contained tools worth about £1,500.
Andrew said the theft had cost him and his two employees a week’s worth of work.
The 45-year-old said: “I heard it being taken - I had just opened the door to my house and was getting ready to go to work when somebody must have sneaked in and found the keys.
“I don’t know if they stole it for the tools in the back or because it is a sought-after van - I had been looking for one for some time. They are very adaptable and I was going to convert it into a tipper.
“People who steal vans don’t realise the impact they are causing. I employ two people and because we haven’t been able to transport materials to jobs we have been unable to work.
“I’ve contacted taxi firms and asked their drivers to keep an eye out for the van on their travels and I’ve put up the reward hoping it might tempt people to come forward with information.
“I am really disappointed that this has happened.”
Anyone with information about Thursday’s theft, which happened between 6am and 7am, is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.
■ AN Audi A3 found abandoned on Edmund Close, Greenhill, Sheffield, had been stolen from a house in Dronfield at the weekend.
The car was stolen by a burglar who broke into the owner’s house and took the keys.
Police are investigating the theft.