Life­time’s worth of tools stolen from re­tired en­gi­neer, 83

Pen­sioner hor­ri­fied to open van doors and find 99% of equip­ment stolen

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by TOM HER­BERT tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

AN el­derly pen­sioner had tools worth thou­sands of pounds stolen from his van in Chal­font St Peter just days af­ter his birth­day.

Jerry, 83, who worked in the vil­lage for 40 years, has likened the theft of the tools, worth £2,000, to los­ing a beloved fam­ily pet.

The re­tired en­gi­neer, who was born in Corn­wall and re­tired to the south west nearly 20 years ago, fears he has lost them – some of which he had for over 60 years – for­ever.

He was vis­it­ing a friend, in Layters Green Lane, on Mon­day June 5 to cel­e­brate his birth­day, and parked in a vis­i­tors’ car park next to a wall to pre­vent any­one from break­ing in through the rear doors.

He stayed overnight at his friend’s flat and in the morn­ing, on his way to see an­other friend in New­mar­ket, Suf­folk, no­ticed the po­si­tion of his wing mir­ror had changed while driv­ing on the M25.

Think­ing noth­ing of it he car­ried on, but when he parked up to go for a cof­fee he saw the lock on one of the rear slid­ing doors had been dam­aged.

When he opened the van he dis­cov­ered to his hor­ror that “99%” of his tools had gone.

He said: “I’m never go­ing to re­place them. It was well over 60 years’ worth of tools in there.

“To buy them now you would want around £2,000.

“I col­lected them over the years.”

I’m never go­ing to re­place them. To buy them now you would want around £2,000

Thieves stole 20 screw­drivers, a full set of sock­ets with a case, a sep­a­rate alu­minium box full of span­ners and an elec­tric drill.

While Jerry is now re­tired, he had col­lected the tools through his job and used them to do odd jobs for friends and fam­ily.

He said: “They were an­tique. To me it’s like hav- ing an old dog and los­ing the dog.

“I can’t re­place the old ones.”

De­spite con­tact­ing Thames Val­ley Po­lice (TVP) he fears he will not see the tools again be­cause he no longer lives in Buck­ing­hamshire.

He added: “I was gut­ted. I could have mar­malised [the thieves].

“If I could see them do it some­one would have been in trou­ble.

“I’m not happy about it. It’s like some­one fid­dling me out of money.

“You think, how could that hap­pen? Why did it hap­pen? But life goes on – you have to pick your­self up now.”

TVP has been con­tacted for com­ment.

The tool thefts took place in Layters Green Lane

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