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Social media sleuths track down stolen van

Recovered: A social media image of the stolen Planning Factory van

The owners of a small business were celebrating last night after their stolen van was recovered yesterday thanks to an outpouring of support from the community.

A thief stole the Planning Factory’s van sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning and desperate owners Cher Przelomski and her daughter Lindsay Barnett took to social media to appeal to get it back.

The appeal on Facebook and Instagram said: “For those of you in the events industry, you understand the crucial importance of this vehicle for every element of conducting our business.

“For those of you who are entrepreneurs, you understand how we will be hit financially to (hopefully not!!) replace this vehicle.”

With members of the community spreading the word, the owners of the design and event planning company and their staff received several sightings of the vehicle, but were unable to get to the locations on time.

Ms Barnett said the van was found when a friend of an employee spotted the van at Tribe Road No 6 in Warwick and the company’s warehouse manager raced to the scene where he found the locked van and called the police.

She said: “We have been overwhelmed with support from the community. It is a testament to the community coming together to help someone out.”

In addition to people sharing leads about the whereabouts of the van, other people stepped forward to help, including Phil Barnett (no relation) of Island Restaurant Group who offered one of their vehicles to assist.

Said Ms Przelomski: “I think it is important for people to know this is real and can happen to anyone, to be smart about your keys and not be quite as trusting; know there are people who will steal a vehicle and use it as if it was theirs! It happened to us.”

It is understood that the theft is now under police investigation.