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Appeal after van stolen
Thursday 9th February, 2006

Merseyside Police is appealing for information after a van, reported stolen on 12 January was found abandoned over two weeks later in the Leigh area.

Just before 7am on Thursday, 12 January, the owner of the white Ford Transit van, which was parked up on Stirling Drive, Garswood, Ashton-in-Makerfield, was scraping ice from the windscreen, when a man jumped into the van and locked it from the inside.

The 32-year-old owner laid across the bonnet in an attempt to stop the van being stolen. However, the offender drove off towards the top of the cul-de-sac, where he turned the van around and drove away. The owner clung on to the bonnet for a short distance until he lost his grip and fell into the road, banging his head on the ground.

He was taken to Wigan Infirmary where he was treated for a head injury and was discharged the same day.

The offender is described as tall, with a stocky build. He was wearing a hat, scarf and large coat.

The transit van, registration number, MD04 JDA, was found parked up and left unlocked on Alpine Drive, Leigh on Monday 30 January and police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Detective Constable Dave Bruce said: "I would appeal to anyone who may know where the van was kept between the time it was stolen from Garswood to the time it was found abandoned in Leigh to come forward. I would also ask any witnesses who may have seen who abandoned the van or knows when it was left there to give us a call.

"The owner could have been seriously injured, if not killed, by the offender, who drove off without any consideration for the harm he may have caused. If you know who is responsible for this, I would urge you to come forward now."

Any witnesses and anyone with information is asked to contact St Helens CID or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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