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Ricky Tomlinson caravan stolen

Jun 21 2012 Posted by Laura Canning

(First posted 21 June 2012, updated 25 June)

Not a good week for actor Ricky Tomlinson, who’s had his riverside caravan worth £13,000 stolen.

Ricky, who’s best known for playing Jim Royle in the BBC’s The Royle Family, bought the six berth Hobby 635 a couple of years ago and was using it as a base to film a wildlife documentary. He said he was ‘gutted’ at the theft, especially as he can’t work out how the caravan was taken – it’s 27 feet long, weighs nearly two tons, and wasn’t even on wheels at the time.

‘I can’t believe it’s happened,’ he said. ‘It must have been a well-organised gang as it was 2ft off the floor and resting on railway sleepers and breeze blocks because it was parked on a flood plain. The caravan was also down a lane over a mile long within a gated meadow. They lifted the gate off its hinges and must have had a decent-sized vehicle to take it away.’

‘I have only had it for a couple of years and it is still in sparkling condition,’ he added. ‘The caravan was in a great spot and I have filmed woodpeckers, squirrels and buzzards, for a little independent documentary I have been working on for a while. There was everything there and it was a lovely place to go for a bit of peace and quiet.

‘I am gutted because I was in the process of letting one of my mates use it for a little outing for his two kids.’

But caravan theft is a lucrative business in the UK, with the AA estimating that around 4000 are stolen each year. There’s even a ‘Caravan Bermuda Triangle’ around the Midlands, where up to 10% more caravans are taken than anywhere else in the country.

According to Simon Douglas, the head of AA Caravan Insurance, the area bordered by Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham and Nottingham is more at risk for theft because caravan thieves have quick getaway routes along the M6, M42 and M1 which provide quick getaway routes for thieves. There’s also been an increase in caravans being stolen to order, especially luxury ones.

Caravan thieves are typically well organised and look for opportunities when a caravan is temporarily unsecured – like on a service station forecourt or when the owners are all packed up but leave the caravan for a brief time to go and pay the site owners or get a last cup of tea before setting off. This clip of a caravan stolen from someone's garden shows just how quickly it can be done.

We've just covered caravan theft in detail in our latest blog post, with tips on how to keep your caravan secured and foil the thieves - find it here.