Mum's plea after thief steals family minibus - leaving disabled son housebound

The minibus was stolen overnight

The minibus was stolen overnight

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A mum has pleaded with the thief who stole her family's minibus last night to return it.

Cara Ashworth said the black Renault Traffic, which seats nine people, was stolen from outside their home in Whiteholme Drive, Carleton, overnight.

The nine-seater Renault Traffic

The nine-seater Renault Traffic

Inside it were two children's car seats, a buggy, and a double-buggy used by three-year-old Jacob, who has additional needs and needs to be restrained for his own safety.

Cara, 36, said: "We can't go anywhere or do anything. Luckily, his wheelchair wasn't in the minibus but it might not fit in the hire car the insurance company has arranged for us, and he can get out of it."

It is believed the large 2015-plate vehicle was taken between 11pm yesterday, when Cara when to bed, and 4am today, when her partner Phil got up for work on the railway.

Police were called, but have not yet managed to find the minibus, leading mum-of-four Cara to believe it may have been stolen by professional thieves rather than joyriders.

"We are assuming but it looks like they avoided the cameras and knew what they were doing," she said.

"They don't realise what effect this has had. We just want the van back. The stuff that's in it is irreplaceable. The double buggy was discontinued and I was lucky to find a second-hand one the first time."

It also feared Cara's purse, which contained baby photos of her children, including Harry, 10, Elizabeth, nine, and Beatrice, one, was inside.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police confirmed the theft had been reported, and that enquiries are ongoing.

Information can be reported to police by calling 101, quoting reference number WA1607212