Gardener’s appeal after thieves steal van

Mark's van which was stolen on Wednesday.
Mark's van which was stolen on Wednesday.
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A landscape gardener is asking people to keep a look out for his van after it was stolen while he was finishing off a job in Clitheroe this week.

Former St James’ CE Primary School and Ribblesdale High School pupil Mark Leach (28) was at a gardening job in Dorset Drive, Clitheroe, when his van and gardening tools were stolen.

Mark with his daughter Francesca.

Mark with his daughter Francesca.

“I had just finished the job and had put my tools away in the back of the van when I realised I’d left my gloves in the garden,” Mark explained. “I’d left my car keys on the driver’s seat as I knew I’d only be a minute or so, but when I got back the van had been stolen.”

Police are now investigating the theft which happened at around 2-30 pm on Wednesday.

“Dorset Drive is such a quiet area and it was the last thing I thought would happen,” added Mark, who is now considering whether to continue with his gardening business.

This is the second time father-of-two Mark has been targeted by thieves.

His two-year-old daughter Francesca was just a couple of months old when tools were once again stolen from his van, which he had left locked up and secure. This more recent second theft happened when his new baby son Benjamin was just 17 days old.

“I lost £1,600 worth of tools the first time and another thousand this time, plus my van which I’d only bought recently and cost £6,000,” Mark said.

The gardener, who now lives in Great Harwood with his wife Helen and their young children, said he would have to borrow his mum’s car to keep the business going.

“I’m just appealing for people to keep a look out for my van,” said Mark. “It’s very recognisable and the more people who know that it has been stolen the better.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Clitheroe Police by dialling 101 and quote incident number LC-20161207-0735.