Driver hurt as van thief strikes

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A motorist was knocked to the ground after dashing to stop a thief from stealing his van.

The victim had left the keys in the ignition while he went into a petrol station, and moments later spotted the thief jumping into the driver’s seat and driving off the forecourt.

The 43-year-old ran from the shop to stop the thief but was clipped by the van as it was driven away with his equipment in the back. He was not seriously injured.

Police have released CCTV of the incident, which happened at about 12.15pm on Monday December 29 at Dean Service Station on Oldham Road in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Detective Sergeant Chris Mannion from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: “This was an opportunistic robbery, the thief saw the keys left in the ignition, ran over to the van and drove.

“When the victim saw what was happening he tried to protect his livelihood and ran into the path of the moving van.

“Luckily for him he was not badly hurt, but that doesn’t take away the fact he had his van stolen with equipment in the back.

“A few days later the van was found through its tracker on Mellor Street in Royton. The thief had stolen a laptop and abandoned the van.

“If you recognise the man from the CCTV footage or have any formation about who may have committed this crime, please contact us as soon as possible.”

The thief is described as white, wearing a grey hooded top with the hood up. He was in his late teens to early 20s, of slim build with a gaunt face.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8549 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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