Family’s trip to Sunderland ruined by van thieves

Appeal for help to find friend's stolen van - similar to the one pictured
Appeal for help to find friend's stolen van - similar to the one pictured

A family who travelled to Sunderland to stay with friends were forced to cut short their break after their van was stolen.

Ryan Rhodes had parked the vehicle up outside his friend Ben Harding’s home, in Somerset Road, overnight on Saturday.

It is the first time my friends have visited the area, so to have this happen to them - it’s a bit of a let down.

Ben Harding

He had travelled from his home on the Isle of Man to the city with his wife and two children aged two and five.

But following the theft of the van, which also included the children’s equipment including car seats and a pram, the family chose to leave the area for Yorkshire.

Ben, who moved to Sunderland from the Isle of Man six years ago, said: “It’s disappointing. I have lived in the city for a lot of years now and I love the people.

“It is the first time my friends have visited the area, so to have this happen to them - it’s a bit of a let down.”

Ryan was left to hire a rental car to continue his family’s holiday, while Ben and friends were able to rally round for car seats and other equipment for the children.

Ryan said: “It’s more of a headache than anything. We still have a couple of days left over here so we needed to hire a car, then it’s the inconvenience of having to carry everything onto the boat and getting picked up on the other side to go home.

“There were also some sentimental items in the van like pictures. The pram was in there, and the kids’ coats - and it was all good stuff.

“It is quite a sporty looking van which is why it was probably taken. In the Isle of Man the crime rate is so low, vehicles don’t get stolen.”

The van which was alarmed is described as a blue Ford Transit, registration number 87 UMN.

Anyone with information is asked to call police, who have been notified.