A MUM has told of her family’s heartbreak after thieves stole £3,500-worth of tools from her husband’s van.

Emma Littlewood said the crime had a continuing “massive impact” on her joiner husband Craig and their two children, aged 12 and eight.

Mr Littlewood’s van was targeted by so-called ‘peel and steal’ thieves who pulled back the side door on the vehicle and stole the tools from inside.

Tradesman have taken to social media over the past couple of months saying gangs of thieves have been targeting vehicles across the region.

West Yorkshire Police said they were yet to arrest anyone in connection with the theft at the Littlewood family home in Clifton, Brighouse.

Three men were arrested earlier this month in connection with a spate of van break-ins and thefts across Bradford district. They were not linked to the Clifton crime, said police.

Mr Littlewood’s van was targeted on December 18, between 8pm and 8.30pm, while the family was at home. Mrs Littlewood, a care home manager, said they did not hear or see anything.

“We were absolutely heartbroken,” said Mrs Littlewood. “It was a week before Christmas. They took £3,500-worth of tools. They took everything down to a Makita radio. You felt like you were being watched. Our two children were in the house at the time. The emotional side for them is awful.”

She added: “It is a massive impact. Craig, on a night-time, is emptying the tools from the van. He is not finishing until two in the morning because he is lugging all the tools inside. He is unloading his van every night. I really fear for him.

“What if they are watching us? Someone has stripped you of your livelihood. We are cautious.”

The van was parked on the road outside the house and the break-in was spotted by a passing motorist.

Among tools taken were a 36-volt saw, 18-volt impactor, 18-volt drill driver, 18-volt grinder, 18-volt power planer, 18-volt circular saw, 18-volt reciprocating saw, 18-volt multi-tool, nine-inch grinder, 110-volt transformer, nail gun, pin gun, and six 18-volt batteries.

“We have had to find £3,500 to replace his tools,” said Mrs Littlewood. “It took us two and a half weeks to get him new tools. We are £3,500 out of pocket. The van repair cost £1,500 – so that’s £5,000 in total. The £3,500 is gone –there is no way we are getting that back.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.