Self-employed Scott Holford believes his van was targeted while it was parked in the street opposite his house in Pinewood Crescent, Meir,
But it wasn’t until the next day Scott discovered the tools were missing when he arrived at a property in Lockley Street, Northwood, which he is working on.
The 32-year-old, who owns Holford Plastering and Building, said: “I am 100 per cent I locked the van on Tuesday night as I remember the lights flashing and I could hear the mechanism lock.
“On Wednesday I drove to Northwood. I was discussing the job with the lady whose house it is and my apprentice Jack Holford went to get some tools.
“He asked me if I had left any tools in the house overnight and I said ‘no’. The tools were gone.”
Scott admitted he cried when he realised what had happened and was told by his insurance company he was not covered for this type of incident.
It means Scott will have to find £5,000 out of his own pocket to buy replacements.
He said: “I was absolutely gutted. I started out with nothing and I worked for the last 10 years to buy everything and then somebody has just come along and stolen my livelihood.
“The customer I’m working for now doesn’t have a kitchen at the moment. I’ll have to wait until I can replace my tools. The apprentice won’t be able to have a pay cheque this week. He’s only 19 and he’s had drills stolen out of the van. I feel so bad for him.
“I am annoyed at myself because I never thought something like this would happen to me.”
Scott is now appealing for help from the public that could lead to culprits being caught.
He said: “This is not a rare thing. Tools get stolen from vans quite often. A lot of them have 'Holford' written on them. I just want them back.
“If anyone knows anything about this, I’d urge them to contact the police. There is a cash reward.