VIDEO: Thief drives away stolen van with worker inside

VIDEO: Thief drives away stolen van with worker inside

CCTV picture of it being driven away

The worker runs after the vehicle

The stolen van

First published in News
Last updated
Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FAMILY’S livelihood hangs in the balance after their van full of specialist equipment was stolen while a worker was still inside.

A 19-year-old window cleaner from Active Cleaning and Maintenance was in the back of the van, which was parked in Dawson Close, Accrington, when a robber jumped in the front seat and sped away.

The stunned window cleaner fell out of the rear of the vehicle as it began to move, and quickly jumped to his feet to chase it down the street.

The Ford Transit van was full of specialist cleaning equipment including a water tank worth £9,000 as well as power jets, hoses and ladders, all of which would have been worth around £20,000 altogether.

The firm uses the equipment to carry out their services which include window cleaning, power washing, ground mainten-ance, office cleaning and valets.

Without it, the family-run business will struggle to operate and Andrew Wilcock, managing director of the firm, has now issued a £1,000 reward to anyone who finds the van.

Jessica Dowling, And-rew’s daughter-in-law, said: “The van was essential to our livelihoods and we just can’t believe that this has happened. It’s a family business and we are all going to be affected by it.

“My partner Ben and I have two young children, a three-year-old and a seven-month-old, and we just don’t know how this is going to affect our income.

“We only live round the corner from Dawson Close and it’s unsettling that this kind of thing happens, especially so close to home.”

The theft was reported to the police who said that they would log the registration and let the family know if it was found.

The Wilcock family knocked on doors and collected CCTV images.

Jessica said: “The police weren’t doing anything and even when we had collected the CCTV they told us they couldn’t come and collect it and we had to drop it off at the station. I know it maybe isn’t a priority to them but the business is in danger of folding.”

A spokesman for Lancas-hire police said: “We are aware of this incident and enquiries are being made. CCTV has been viewed, but unfortunately on this occasion it has not been helpful to the investigation. If anybody has any information they are asked to call police on 101.”

Comments (17)

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2:55pm Thu 27 Mar 14

boynesider says...

typical lack of inactivity by the police.unless it lands in their lap they don't want to know
typical lack of inactivity by the police.unless it lands in their lap they don't want to know boynesider
  • Score: 8

3:17pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Cimbri says...

'A water tank worth £9000?'
Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system?
IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!!
And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof.
Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.
'A water tank worth £9000?' Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system? IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!! And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof. Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here. Cimbri
  • Score: 4

3:51pm Thu 27 Mar 14

vicn1956 says...

If it's not nailed down..............
If it's not nailed down.............. vicn1956
  • Score: 8

4:31pm Thu 27 Mar 14

burner says...

Excellent foto . . . soon have the beggars!
Excellent foto . . . soon have the beggars! burner
  • Score: 4

4:48pm Thu 27 Mar 14

burner says...

Look at the headline . . . . correct me if I'm wrong . . . but a thief drove off in a van that was sto;en ?????
Look at the headline . . . . correct me if I'm wrong . . . but a thief drove off in a van that was sto;en ????? burner
  • Score: 7

5:07pm Thu 27 Mar 14

sen c b l says...

Which muppet left the key in eh?
Which muppet left the key in eh? sen c b l
  • Score: 15

6:42pm Thu 27 Mar 14

bigdee123 says...

Cimbri wrote:
'A water tank worth £9000?'
Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system?
IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!!
And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof.
Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.
the tank in the back of that van is not an ibc. its a proper custom made, chassis mounted tank with a pure filter water system.
those active vans have a proper set up in the back. andy and his team have worked hard to build that business up. it wont be an insurance fiddle because the insurance probably wont cover it with the keys being in the van.
[quote][p][bold]Cimbri[/bold] wrote: 'A water tank worth £9000?' Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system? IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!! And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof. Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.[/p][/quote]the tank in the back of that van is not an ibc. its a proper custom made, chassis mounted tank with a pure filter water system. those active vans have a proper set up in the back. andy and his team have worked hard to build that business up. it wont be an insurance fiddle because the insurance probably wont cover it with the keys being in the van. bigdee123
  • Score: 12

3:56am Fri 28 Mar 14

Steven Seagull says...

boynesider wrote:
typical lack of inactivity by the police.unless it lands in their lap they don't want to know
What exactly is a lack of inactivity?

Come on then miss Marple what else do you suggest they do in the absence of lines of enquiry. Maybe they should ask the PCC force new crystal ball?
[quote][p][bold]boynesider[/bold] wrote: typical lack of inactivity by the police.unless it lands in their lap they don't want to know[/p][/quote]What exactly is a lack of inactivity? Come on then miss Marple what else do you suggest they do in the absence of lines of enquiry. Maybe they should ask the PCC force new crystal ball? Steven Seagull
  • Score: 4

6:35am Fri 28 Mar 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

QUOTE:

Jessica said: “The police weren’t doing anything and even when we had collected the CCTV they told us they couldn’t come and collect it and we had to drop it off at the station. I know it maybe isn’t a priority to them but the business is in danger of folding.”

Please excuse the pun, but would it not of been better worded " in danger of being washed out ". :-)
QUOTE: Jessica said: “The police weren’t doing anything and even when we had collected the CCTV they told us they couldn’t come and collect it and we had to drop it off at the station. I know it maybe isn’t a priority to them but the business is in danger of folding.” Please excuse the pun, but would it not of been better worded " in danger of being washed out ". :-) 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: -4

9:27am Fri 28 Mar 14

Bennyon says...

Insurance scam? Yeh ok, 9k ain't the half of what was in that van, http://www.ionicsyst
ems.co.uk (thermo pure reach wash system) is over 9k new, the poles in the vans what reach up to 75ft are over £1.5k each! Yes there was 4, ladders over £3k, reels £500 each do you want me to go on? When you no what you on about them comment with you crap
Insurance scam? Yeh ok, 9k ain't the half of what was in that van, http://www.ionicsyst ems.co.uk (thermo pure reach wash system) is over 9k new, the poles in the vans what reach up to 75ft are over £1.5k each! Yes there was 4, ladders over £3k, reels £500 each do you want me to go on? When you no what you on about them comment with you crap Bennyon
  • Score: -3

10:22am Fri 28 Mar 14

Louisexwilcock says...

What an absoulte joke and how is it an insurance scam? When we can't claim on the insurance!!!! At least comment on something when you actually know what you are going on about, as said above the system isn't just any system it's a costom made system built into the van which produces thermo pure water. If you want il give you the sight to have a look!!! Also it's not about the van it's about the stress it's caused for 6 families. Because the system was how they do there work!!!!!!! So sit back down and go judge someone else not being funny but active cleaning has been a family run business for around 20 years plus and they have worked for every penny he's earnt. Not everyone is about insurance scams don't judge anyone when you clearly don't have a clue!
What an absoulte joke and how is it an insurance scam? When we can't claim on the insurance!!!! At least comment on something when you actually know what you are going on about, as said above the system isn't just any system it's a costom made system built into the van which produces thermo pure water. If you want il give you the sight to have a look!!! Also it's not about the van it's about the stress it's caused for 6 families. Because the system was how they do there work!!!!!!! So sit back down and go judge someone else not being funny but active cleaning has been a family run business for around 20 years plus and they have worked for every penny he's earnt. Not everyone is about insurance scams don't judge anyone when you clearly don't have a clue! Louisexwilcock
  • Score: 6

10:49am Fri 28 Mar 14

Louisexwilcock says...

Cimbri wrote:
'A water tank worth £9000?'
Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system?
IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!!
And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof.
Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.
Try getting your facts right before posting your nasty opinions. Not everyone is about insurance frauds active cleaning have worked hard for wage they have so don't appreciate people like you posting disrespectful stuff, and more so because nothing can be claimed back on the insurance anyway. Even though that's got nothing to do with you!
[quote][p][bold]Cimbri[/bold] wrote: 'A water tank worth £9000?' Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system? IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!! And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof. Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.[/p][/quote]Try getting your facts right before posting your nasty opinions. Not everyone is about insurance frauds active cleaning have worked hard for wage they have so don't appreciate people like you posting disrespectful stuff, and more so because nothing can be claimed back on the insurance anyway. Even though that's got nothing to do with you! Louisexwilcock
  • Score: 0

10:53am Fri 28 Mar 14

tim otay71 says...

Louisexwilcock wrote:
What an absoulte joke and how is it an insurance scam? When we can't claim on the insurance!!!! At least comment on something when you actually know what you are going on about, as said above the system isn't just any system it's a costom made system built into the van which produces thermo pure water. If you want il give you the sight to have a look!!! Also it's not about the van it's about the stress it's caused for 6 families. Because the system was how they do there work!!!!!!! So sit back down and go judge someone else not being funny but active cleaning has been a family run business for around 20 years plus and they have worked for every penny he's earnt. Not everyone is about insurance scams don't judge anyone when you clearly don't have a clue!
Will not judge you on the number of spelling mistakes either your Highness! Get over it and live with the truth!
[quote][p][bold]Louisexwilcock[/bold] wrote: What an absoulte joke and how is it an insurance scam? When we can't claim on the insurance!!!! At least comment on something when you actually know what you are going on about, as said above the system isn't just any system it's a costom made system built into the van which produces thermo pure water. If you want il give you the sight to have a look!!! Also it's not about the van it's about the stress it's caused for 6 families. Because the system was how they do there work!!!!!!! So sit back down and go judge someone else not being funny but active cleaning has been a family run business for around 20 years plus and they have worked for every penny he's earnt. Not everyone is about insurance scams don't judge anyone when you clearly don't have a clue![/p][/quote]Will not judge you on the number of spelling mistakes either your Highness! Get over it and live with the truth! tim otay71
  • Score: -2

11:09am Fri 28 Mar 14

Nathanrasheed says...

Cimbri wrote:
'A water tank worth £9000?'
Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system?
IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!!
And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof.
Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.
Before you start commenting you need to do your research and get the facts right! It should be the police that you should be commenting on because they have done nothing at all. Bits of our equipment was found in Oldham at an old gas works! But the police haven't followed up on it whatsoever. That's why our insurance is in a state because nothing gets found! Accrington and Blackburn police are useless! Only getting a response off Manchester! And there hands are tied because the information isn't getting sent over! Do you really think I'm going to throw away 25 years of building my business up to let some scumbag steal a peice of equipment what helps us get the work done you must be joking! Plus the fact one of our lads has lost there job!
[quote][p][bold]Cimbri[/bold] wrote: 'A water tank worth £9000?' Are you having a giraffe or what? Was it a full central heating system? IBC, (which is what it is,) on eBay, £16.50 and it's brand spanking, new!!! And we wonder why our insurance premiums are going through the roof. Am not saying that a little fiddle on the insurance forms is a bad thing but you're going for a full string flaming orchestra here.[/p][/quote]Before you start commenting you need to do your research and get the facts right! It should be the police that you should be commenting on because they have done nothing at all. Bits of our equipment was found in Oldham at an old gas works! But the police haven't followed up on it whatsoever. That's why our insurance is in a state because nothing gets found! Accrington and Blackburn police are useless! Only getting a response off Manchester! And there hands are tied because the information isn't getting sent over! Do you really think I'm going to throw away 25 years of building my business up to let some scumbag steal a peice of equipment what helps us get the work done you must be joking! Plus the fact one of our lads has lost there job! Nathanrasheed
  • Score: 3

11:18am Fri 28 Mar 14

Louisexwilcock says...

tim otay71 wrote:
Louisexwilcock wrote:
What an absoulte joke and how is it an insurance scam? When we can't claim on the insurance!!!! At least comment on something when you actually know what you are going on about, as said above the system isn't just any system it's a costom made system built into the van which produces thermo pure water. If you want il give you the sight to have a look!!! Also it's not about the van it's about the stress it's caused for 6 families. Because the system was how they do there work!!!!!!! So sit back down and go judge someone else not being funny but active cleaning has been a family run business for around 20 years plus and they have worked for every penny he's earnt. Not everyone is about insurance scams don't judge anyone when you clearly don't have a clue!
Will not judge you on the number of spelling mistakes either your Highness! Get over it and live with the truth!
Yes apologies for the spelling mistakes but as know most phones are on predictive text which has a tendency to change words, also that has nothing to do with just putting a point across to someone who clearly doesn't have any idea on what's gone on and what there actually talking about specially if they think you can get a thermo pure wash system of eBay for £16.50
[quote][p][bold]tim otay71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Louisexwilcock[/bold] wrote: What an absoulte joke and how is it an insurance scam? When we can't claim on the insurance!!!! At least comment on something when you actually know what you are going on about, as said above the system isn't just any system it's a costom made system built into the van which produces thermo pure water. If you want il give you the sight to have a look!!! Also it's not about the van it's about the stress it's caused for 6 families. Because the system was how they do there work!!!!!!! So sit back down and go judge someone else not being funny but active cleaning has been a family run business for around 20 years plus and they have worked for every penny he's earnt. Not everyone is about insurance scams don't judge anyone when you clearly don't have a clue![/p][/quote]Will not judge you on the number of spelling mistakes either your Highness! Get over it and live with the truth![/p][/quote]Yes apologies for the spelling mistakes but as know most phones are on predictive text which has a tendency to change words, also that has nothing to do with just putting a point across to someone who clearly doesn't have any idea on what's gone on and what there actually talking about specially if they think you can get a thermo pure wash system of eBay for £16.50 Louisexwilcock
  • Score: 2

7:29am Sat 29 Mar 14

mys says...

What a nasty lot of scroats you lot are,let's just say not everyone is out to rob insurance company's you know,sounds like a traumatic time for all concerned,the police aren't interested in some things believe me,I hope they get there van and contents back ASAP and the culprits get caught the theiving scumbags
What a nasty lot of scroats you lot are,let's just say not everyone is out to rob insurance company's you know,sounds like a traumatic time for all concerned,the police aren't interested in some things believe me,I hope they get there van and contents back ASAP and the culprits get caught the theiving scumbags mys
  • Score: 3

7:30am Sat 29 Mar 14

mys says...

What a nasty lot of scroats you lot are,let's just say not everyone is out to rob insurance company's you know,sounds like a traumatic time for all concerned,the police aren't interested in some things believe me,I hope they get there van and contents back ASAP and the culprits get caught the theiving scumbags,just thank god no one got hurt.
What a nasty lot of scroats you lot are,let's just say not everyone is out to rob insurance company's you know,sounds like a traumatic time for all concerned,the police aren't interested in some things believe me,I hope they get there van and contents back ASAP and the culprits get caught the theiving scumbags,just thank god no one got hurt. mys
  • Score: -2

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