A DAD-of-four is desperate to get his camper van back after it was stolen from his workshop.

Toby Ling, from Basildon, bought the Volkswagen camper van 19 years ago which looked immaculate after all the work Toby put in to transform it into his £35,000 pride and joy.

Southend Standard:

Stolen - the VW camper van

But it was stolen on Saturday night after the dad moved it from his home to his work, in Wickford, because crooks had broken into his garage.

The 47-year-old said: “I’m gutted. My wife and I, and our four children went on camping holidays every year in it to Cornwall.

“I’ve taken it to Germany twice. We have loads of memories of trips in it with the family.

“The kids are pretty upset. All the camping stuff was in there - tent, cooker, sleeping bags - they’ve taken everything.”

He added: “A neighbour said they heard a lot of noise out the front around 11.30pm Saturday night.

“It was as if they knew it was there.

“My aunt and uncle live near the workshop so the next morning when they saw the door was open and had been damaged they called me to tell me.

“They didn’t realise I had moved the van into the workshop garage from my home, so when they told me it didn’t look as if anything had been taken, I told them the van was in there and they said ‘no, it isn’t’.

Southend Standard:

On tour - the family regularly take the van to Cornwall

The thieves appeared to have cut off the various security measures.

The van is mainly a pale green colour with dark green on the top half. It was an old Swiss bus previously, so is a left-hand drive.

Toby has contacted friends in Belgium to warn ports as he believes it may get shipped abroad or broken up into parts.

He added his disappointment at police closing the case two days later claiming they should have done more.

A spokesman for Essex Police, said: “Unfortunately there were limited investigative opportunities to identify suspects, as there were no witnesses to the theft and no CCTV.

“However new information provided will be reviewed and we ask anyone with information to contact 101.”