Article by Ellis Whitehouse: A businessman said he could face ruin after his van was stolen just meters away from where he was working.
Christian Creed, owner of C.R.C Electrical and Building Services, was installing solar panels at a property in Billericay when a brazen thief stole his company van from the driveway.
Mr Creed, 29, was carrying materials and tools to and from the van, having only been parked up for ten minutes when the theft took place at around 1.45pm on Friday. His apprentice was working at the other end of the driveway, and the keys to the van had been left on the seat.
When Mr Creed came out of the house, he saw the van had gone. He said:
“I thought it was one of my guys playing a practical joke at first, but when no one said they knew where it was I realised it had been taken. We were only working about six metres from it. The keys were on the seat but we were going back and forth taking things inside, the window would’ve been incredibly small, but someone clearly saw the opportunity and took it. My apprentice who was working in the driveway didn’t even see it, he thought I was taking the van somewhere. You hear reports of these happening but I never thought it would happen to us. It was a lease van, and now because of how it was taken the insurance company is being difficult, I could end up owing the lease company up to £30,000.”
The van, a black Ford Transit, was only a year old, and is estimated to be worth between £25,000 and £30,000.
Mr Creed, a father of two based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, said the theft could have severe implications on his business which he set up only three years ago. He added:
“We were only there for ten minutes, it’s not even like it was premeditated. I can’t describe how angry I am, some low life scumbag has taken away my form of income which I have to care for my family. I’m not sure how it’s going to affect the business until the insurance is sorted, but it could ruin me if I’m forced to pay the lease company the cost of the van.”
An Essex Police spokesman said:
“We are investigating following reports of a black Transit van being stolen from Outwood Common Road, Billericay. The van was taken between 1.30pm and 1.45pm on Friday.”
Call 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/49345/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Article by Halstead Gazette