A COUPLE had to go home empty-handed after a moving van was stolen carrying their belongings.
Jane and Steve May, previously of Boley Drive, Clacton, have just embarked on a long move to Derby to be closer to their family.
The excited couple, who have two sons, loaded their things into a moving van on Wednesday.
He was then reportedly taken to the moving company depot, located in the industrial area of ââGorse Lane, ahead of the 181 mile trip on Friday.
Just hours after being dropped off, however, around 9:40 p.m., the van was stolen … with all of the couple’s belongings inside.
Shocked Jane, 61, and Steve, 63, were told of the theft on Thursday by moving company employees and the van has still not been recovered.
The couple’s daughter-in-law, Samantha May, 30, appealed in hopes of locating the missing vehicle and property.
She said: âThey called us in tears and we were all shocked and absolutely upset.
âMy husband and his brother drove from Cambridge and Derby to be with them.
âAll their belongings were gone and they had to move out with nothing.
“They were already nervous about moving and it was devastating.”
âWe didn’t know where it was.
The Ford transit van is part of a fleet of vans owned by Landmark Removals and Storage.
He had also offered a reward of Â£ 1,000 for information leading to the conviction of the thieves.
The van contained everything from furniture and clothing to appliances.
Hordes of family photos, some of which had not been digitally reproduced, were also in the van, which particularly upset the family.
âOur family photos wouldn’t have been valuable to anyone but meant the world to us,â Samantha added.
âThe images are not in digital form, so we would have lost images of the children who are growing up and the family who are no longer with us.
âThis stuff is irreplaceable. It was as if their whole life had been stolen.
The van was found in Tilbury but its gearbox and engine had been stolen.
Samantha added, “Thanks to the moving company for their support, to those who shared posts on social media, and to those who reached out to us with information and video surveillance.”