A BUILDER hasn’t been able to work in the week since thieves stole £2,500 of tools from his van.

Self-employed Graham Forward, 50, said he had been through a nightmare since his Ford Transit was broken into outside his house, in Minster Road, Laindon.

Mr Forward, who trades as T and G Building, has had to borrow tools from friends and relatives so he can get earning again.

A neighbour’s home CCTV system caught the thieves in action and posted the images on the Facebook website in the hope someone might come forward with information.

The tools were taken overnight between Monday, February 17, and Tuesday, February 18.

Mr Forward said: “Apparently, they broke in to my van using some sort of master key.

“I came down about 5.45am and went to unlock my van, but it was already open.

“I got in and saw the glove compartment was down. When I went into the back, my tools had gone.

“They took everything – £2,500 of tools. I’ve not been able to work for a week.

“My neighbour’s CCTV shows two men running up and down the street, putting something into the back of a car.

“I wasn’t insured, so this week my family have loaned me tools so I can get back to work. In the long run, though, I’m going to have to replace them myself.

“It’s a nightmare when something like this happens to a small business. It could put you out of business.”

Items stolen include a Makita drill and grinder, a Makita set with two more drills, a Hitachi drill, a Dewalt angle grinder, Dewalt jigsaw and battery, a Milwaukee drill and nail gun, a Hitachi circular saw and a Hilti hammer drill.

A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating the theft of approximately £2,500 worth of tools from a white Ford Transit van which had been left parked in Minster Road, Laindon.

"The vehicle was broken into some time between 6.30pm on Monday, February 17, and 5.45am on Tuesday, February 18.

"Thieves then made a messy search of the van before stealing a variety of power tools.”

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or has any information about the incident is asked to call Basildon police station, on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.