A self-employed carpenter from Weston-super-Mare was left in a “hellish situation” after tool thieves robbed him blind.
Ryan Harman-Taylor was in a rush to be with his wife as she gave birth to their second child. Unfortunately, thieves took advantage of his unattended van and made off with £19,000 worth of power tools.
The 31 year old said: “Just a day before I was on cloud nine after the arrival of my new baby girl, then suddenly I was in this hellish situation.
“Around £19,000 worth of equipment was taken. When I collected my wife from the hospital I didn’t want to worry her, but I knew I couldn’t lie.
“She was devastated; all the joy we had the day before was gone and we were left with worry about our family’s future.
“I’m self-employed and I’ve worked very hard to build my business up. It wasn’t just about the financial loss for us, my customers are people I’ve worked with for years and I felt embarrassed I couldn’t provide them with the good service they deserved.”
While most tool thefts seem to end with the victim out of pocket and unable to earn a living, Ryan’s tale has a happier ending. Avon and Somerset Constabulary had just managed to find a huge haul of stolen tools and were inviting local tradesmen to claim back anything they had lost.
Despite looking through the recovered stash of tools, Ryan was unable to find any of his own equipment. It was soon afterwards that he noticed a Facebook advertisement offering his tools for £60!
“I looked closely at the picture and recognised it straight away. It was a grinder gifted to me on the completion of my apprenticeship when I was 18 years old.”
He contacted PC Alice Durston about the advert; this in turn led to an investigation which uncovered a literal shed-load of stolen tools.
She said: “We went along to the address and found a large number of power tools in the shed.
“We let Ryan know we had found another haul of power tools and he obtained photographic proof of his tools and we dropped his tools off.
“He was very happy and we were glad we could help.”
Now back in business, Ryan gave a “big thanks” to the police for their aid.
“I’m just so glad I got my tools back, they represent a big part of my life and some of them have been with me from the very start of my career.