A COMMUNITY has rallied around a family left devastated after thieves stole £3,500 worth of power tools from their van.

Self-employed joiner David Abbs woke on Tuesday morning to discover all but a hammer and a saw had been taken in the raid on the vehicle which was parked outside his home in Derwent Road, Ferryhill.

Without the valuable equipment he would have been unable to work so as a temporary measure friends have stepped in to replace them.

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Unfortunately Mr Abbs and his wife Michelle only realised the tools were not insured when they rang to claim.

Mrs Abbs said: “It is absolutely disgusting. How can anyone do this to someone. It is not just about some tools. This is our livelihood and it doesn’t just affect my husband, it hurts all the family.

“We are not in a position to have loads of money to buy new tools. We had to borrow money from family to buy them in the first place and we have only just finished paying it off.

“We don’t know what we are going to do now.

“We are angry. Someone has obviously been watching us and knows there has been something of value in the van.

Without the tools he can’t work and this puts us in financial hardship. All of our spare money for the next few months is going to be spent on buying new tools.”

The family are hoping that their Facebook post about the theft might lead to someone spotting the stolen items and getting in touch.

They have already been contacted by friends and even strangers alerting them to posts on selling sites.

Mrs Abbs added: “His friends have pulled together some tools for him to use for now.

“It is just so nice how everyone, including people who we don’t even know, are looking out for us. People are checking on sites lite Gumtree and sending us pictures of tools. We haven’t found any yet but hopefully all the sharing of my post will help.

“My husband is sub-contracted on a building site and he works six or sometimes seven days a week. He literally works for his family.”

The family are also aware of another break-in on a van parked in the nearby Raby Road on the same night.

A spokeswoman for Durham Police said: “On October 10, we received a report that a large quantity of tools had been stolen overnight from a van in Derwent Road, Ferryhill. Enquiries into this are still ongoing.

“When a theft like this occurs, they not only steal tools, they steal a livelihood.

“We would encourage anyone who saw any suspicious activity or has information to call Durham Police on 101 quoting reference number 44 of October 10.”

Crimestoppers is also available on 0800-555111.