Thieves popped a window and broke a lock of a Mitsubishi van at the Homebase store by the Beggars Bush,
Thousands of pounds worth of tools have been stolen from a van parked in a Sutton Coldfield shop car park.
Alan Forster was working at Homebase, by the Beggars Bush, on Valentine’s Day (February 14) servicing the store’s heating systems – when his Mitsubishi L200 van was broken into shortly before 11am and £4,000 of DeWalt tools and other gear taken.
Alan said he needs the tools to make a living and works 12 to 15-hour days working around the country from his base in Durham.
Two thieves broke in to the back of the van and got in. They have then emptied the tools in just three minutes. And the 39-year-old tradesman is keen to warn other traders in the area to watch out.
He said: “I’m totally gutted. There is a big epidemic going on around the country at the moment.
“My van got broken on to at 10.47am on Thursday, February 14 - it was caught on the cameras at Homebase in Sutton Coldfield and the lad I was working with had his dash cam on.
“I was servicing all the heaters and boilers at the store. I found it half-an-hour later. I went past the back window. I realised the van was quite empty.
“They have popped the lock on the back window and broke the back door lock to get in.
“I have lost £4,000 worth of gear. I had £1,500 of DeWalt tools, £2,000 of other tools plus the boxes they were in which cost several hundred pounds.
“It took them three minutes to get in my van and steal the tools. If they do that two or three times a day that’s a lot of tools.
“Anybody who is a trader – they need their tools to work. If I stop anywhere overnight I stay in decent hotels. I normally back the vehicle up against a wall. “Just that one time I left an opportunity for them to break in.”
The incident has been shared on social media and Alan says other traders have reported it happening to them in the area. The police have yet to release the images to BirminghamLive, so we are unable to publish them at this stage.
Alan said: “I have posted the photos on Facebook.
“Someone else on Facebook said his vehicle was done over just before Christmas.
“A lot of traders don’t like talking about this when it happens. People can kill themselves over it thinking they have lost everything.
“Basically I have just paid my credit card off and will have to buy more tools and put it on my credit card.