A MAN whose van was stolen from outside his house and then damaged when recovered by police is angry after being left to foot the bill.

Gary Clayton says it will cost him more to reclaim his Ford Transit, stolen from Rowan Court, Spennymoor, County Durham, last weekend, than the vehicle is worth if he wants it back.

Police recovered it on Thursday and it was taken to a secure compound.

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To have it released, Mr Clayton must pay £150 and also faces a bill of about £120 to replace three tyres damaged when a stinger device was used by police to stop it.

“It stinks," he said "I’m the victim here and even though the police have got the van back, I will be out of pocket.

“There is no justice when someone dares to take something of mine, from outside my home, and I get billed for it.”

A spokesperson for Durham police said: “The standard fee that Mr Clayton will have to pay to recover his vehicle is set by Parliament and is a statutory payment which applies to the recovery of any stolen or abandoned vehicle.

“Police are obligated to use their powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Motor Vehicles (Removal & Disposal) Regulations 1986 to remove vehicles that are stolen or abandoned.”

She said that the stinger tactic is used by the road policing unit to safely stop a vehicle and minimise the risk to public safety.

“The repairs to Mr Clayton's vehicle caused by the stinger, as with the recovery fee, will be able to claimed back via his insurance,” she added.

But Mr Clayton said: “I don’t think I’ll bother getting it back, it is an old van and with those charges, the excess on my insurance and the loss of no claims, it isn’t worth it.”

  • A 19-year-old man appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court charged in connection with the incident. He was remanded in custody and is expected to face trial in February.