A BUILDER has told how he was left “battered and bruised” as he was dragged along a road in a bid to stop thieves from stealing his van.
Darryl Warren was hurled to the ground after throwing himself at his work’s van.
He clung on to the side as the thief drove off – taking with him an estimated £13,500 of tools.
Self-employed Mr Warren, who was working as a window fitter at a house on Henson Avenue, South Shore, at the time, says he has now been left unable to work.
He said: “It’s devastating.
“I was looking out of the window upstairs, and next thing I heard my van start and saw someone inside.
“I just ran down the stairs and grabbed hold of the side door ready to open the front door and he has driven off.
“He has seen me trying to get in and pushed me into the side of a van and it’s knocked me straight off and I’ve ended up on the ground.
“But with the shock and adrenaline I just ended up running down the street after him.
“All I was thinking was all my tools were inside the vehicle.”
Mr Warren, from Poulton, has been left with an injured shoulder, hand and lower back, as well as bruising.
And as well as losing all his tools, the thief also stole his keys and wallet – meaning Mr Warren, who was working with his colleague at the time, has not even got the credit cards he needs to replace his equipment.
The van, which was taken at 12.25pm on Friday, is described as a high top Ford Transit, with a bright yellow step at the rear.
Police say there has been a spate of van thefts in South Shore.
Plumber Lee Cairns’ van was also stolen from his driveway on Whittam Avenue on Friday evening, after thieves stole the keys by reaching through his letter box.
It was later recovered from an alleyway close to The Waterloo pub, but he has lost £1,000 of tools.
He said: “I’m self-employed, so I’ve got nothing to work with.
“I just want to make people aware not to leave tools in their van overnight.”
Police have confirmed they are investigating the thefts.
Insp Matt Willmot, geographic inspector for Blackpool South, said: “At this stage we have several lines of inquiry.
“We would really like tradesmen to be vigilant about locking up.
“Obviously it’s very difficult for them sometimes when they are working on certain projects and need regular access but equally I know how devastating it is if their entire livelihood is in that van.”
In the last few months police have reported van break-ins across Lytham, St Annes, Fleetwood and Blackpool.