Jamie Stokes' life was turned upside after more than £4,000 worth of work tools were stolen from the back of his van.


The carpenter, from porth in the rhondda, was left devastated as a number of expensive power tools were taken from the van, which was was parked outside his house overnight on August 20, 2018.

The 29-year-old, who has two daughters aged eight and 10 months, spent the next few months working around the clock trying to replace the tools and regain his livelihood.



After almost a year, Jamie finally saved up enough money and, three weeks ago, he splashed out around £1,500 on new equipment.



But on Wednesday - around 11 months since the first incident - Jamie's van was targeted once again and his tools were stolen for a second time as he worked at a house in Nelson in caerphilly.



The family man, who's been a carpenter for more than 10 years, has now had to cancel all his ongoing projects and quit his job, because he can't afford to buy another set of new tools.

"Last year my van was parked outside my house in Trebanog," Jamie explained.

"I woke up in the morning and noticed the black rubber missing from the back of the van. I didn't think anything of it and went off to work.

"We pulled up at the job and was about to start, and then realised all the tools had gone.

"It was heartbreaking.

"They had taken of my tools, as well as two apprentices' and another carpenter's tools."

Around £4,000 worth of tools were taken during that incident, including expensive power tools, planers, drills and saws.

Luckily, Jamie's boss and friends rallied around to help him, with many offering to lend him their tools until he got back on his feet.

"I started working all hours. I'd do my job five days a week and then hobbles on the weekend.

"I saved and saved and saved."

Jamie managed to save up around £1,500 and bought himself some new cordless tools.


Jamie - who's been a carpenter for more than 10 years - has now had to quit his job


But, on Wednesday, he was targeted by thieves once again.

"We were working at a house in Nelson," he explained.

"The van was parked opposite the house - literally around 10 metres away.

"The side door was closed, but the back door was open because we were loading wood from the garden into the back of the van.

"We were on our way back to the garden to get a new load, and someone came running over.

"They said they spotted two boys taking tools from the back of the van.

"They loaded them up into the boot of their car and sped off."

Jamie has now had to quit his job, and admits it's made him feel like he "never wants to pick up a tool ever again".

"I had six jobs on the go and had to cancel all of them. I was halfway through one, and had to ring them and tell them I can't do it anymore.

"It's soul destroying.

"I've got two little girls and a girlfriend, and the money I earn helps to support them.

"I've been working so hard to get back on my feet - sometimes working around six or seven days a week.

"On the rare weekends I do get off, I take my family out for the day or go camping, the rest of the money goes towards paying the bills.

"I feel like all that hard work and all those hours I spent in work - time that I could have been spending with my girls - have now been wasted.

People in the local community are now rallying around to support Jamie, and a fundraising page has been set up by family friend Abbey Nicole to raise money for new tools.

Jamie said: "The support I've had from friends and strangers on Facebook has been amazing.

"I didn't think I was ever going to carpentry again.

"But my phone hasn't stopped - I've had so many messages from people, and even complete strangers, who are all coming together to help me.

"People have been offering to lend me tools and give me money.

"It just shows that people in the Valleys all come together in situations like this."

Gwent Police say they are investigating the theft of tools from a van in Nelson on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

A spokesman said: "It is believed the tools were removed from a white Volkswagen van that was parked near to the Royal Oak Pub on Station Terrace between 1pm and 2pm.

"Various hand tools, including a sander, a router, a planer and three drills were taken.

"Officers are appealing for an witnesses to call 101, quoting log 314 of 17/7/19.

"Alternatively, you can send a direct message to our Gwent Police Facebook or Twitter social media accounts. You can also report information anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for South Wales Police confirmed officers are still investigating the incident which happened in the Rhondda last year.

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