The owner of a popular Sheffield food trailer is to resume trading tomorrow – a week after its theft sparked a public outcry.
A replacement trailer has been found so John’s Van – which has sold hot food to hungry students and workers for more than 30 years – will be back in business from 7am.
The stainless steel trailer, was stolen from Hounsfield Road, near Sheffield University.
Hundreds of people backed a Twitter campaign to find the van, with students even creating a music video, and alumni as far away as America expressing their sadness at the news.
Owner Jeremy Woolley said: “I’m chuffed I have been able to find a replacement trailer so quickly – but not that I’ve had to pay for a new one.
“I have been totally overwhelmed by the support I have had from people, it has been unbelievable.
“I didn’t realise how well thought of the business was.
“People have been looking for the van and offering to help out with the insurance, all kinds of things,
“It is great of them, but I wouldn’t want anything like that.
“The support we have had has been enough.”
CCTV footage of the van being stolen, at 6.30am last Tuesday, shows a white transit van towing it away.
Jeremy, who took over the business from his dad John, spent hours searching for the trailer, which he values at about £8,000.
He located a replacement in Bolton and had it adjusted over the weekend.
Jeremy, who has also offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the return of the van, said: “I’ll never stop looking for it.
“It could have been a planned theft. I know they tried to break into somewhere nearby, but they couldn’t, so maybe they then saw my van.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t insured, it’s something I have never done, but the next one will be and have a tracer on it, as well as being locked up.
“I’m not taking any chances.”
Comments of support made online included one from former Sheffield student Jon Partridge.
He wrote: “Sheffield alumni here and I heard about the tragedy from Texas.
“Hope you are reunited soon and back to making those omelette sammiches.”
Another user, called @CuteandQuirkyGirl, Tweeted: “ Spreading the word about John’s Van in Gibraltar while I’m here on holidays. I won’t quit until it’s found.”
South Yorkshire Police said a description of the van had been circulated to officers throughout the city.
n Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call police on 101.