Crooks snatch £4k tools from DIY SOS van in West Bromwich

The tools were being used to help a family devastated by the loss of a young mother.

Nick Knowles appealed for help to mend a van after it was broken into in West Bromwich
Nick Knowles appealed for help to mend a van after it was broken into in West Bromwich

BBC presenter Nick Knowles has spoken of his disgust after vans used by the DIY SOS team helping a grieving family were targeted by burglars.

An estimated £4,000 worth of tools were stolen as crooks struck in West Bromwich, where workers from the show are currently based renovating the home of a family which lost a mother to cancer.

The heart-warming story had seen dozens of local tradesman pitch up to offer their help, but the break-ins have left a sour taste.

Knowles took to Twitter to speak out about the incident, which happened at around 11am yesterday, and appealed for help getting one of the vans fixed.

He said: "Really disappointed, had two volunteer builders' vans broken into on West Brom SOS - damage to Peugeot rear van door - can local dealer mend?"

The presenter received a flood of tweets from followers condemning what had happened and offering to help.

One response, from Gill Smith said: "How could they do such a thing?"

A BBC spokeswoman said the burglars are believed to have used a drill to break the locks on the vans before snatching the tools inside.

She said the 'whole thing took 10 or 20 seconds'.

The DIY SOS team in West Bromwich

Knowles later revealed a Peugeot dealer in Bilston had offered to help and said the incident would not change his view of West Bromwich.

He tweeted: "We've had amazing people here and I'm not going to change my mind because of a few nasties."

The DIY SOS team stepped in to help after hearing the story of Crystal Chambers.

The 32-year-old was given hours to live when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died in October 2015, leaving her two young children in the care of her mother, Sandra.

They now all live together with Sandra’s son, Ziggy, in a cramped two-bedroom house. Crystal’s two children, Deago, aged nine, and Ameira, aged three, have to share a bedroom with Sandra, who has struggled with the situation.

Knowles spoke to the Express & Star last week, when he said: "They’re a really lovely family and they came out and met the builders and motivation levels went up they met them and everyone is determined to try and make life a little better for them."

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