A fed up couple launched a CCTV appeal after being hit by thieves for the third time in less than a year.

Ruth Whittle, 27, shared images on Facebook in a bid to catch the culprits after her partner Anthony Thorpe’s Mercedes van was broken into in Accrington.

A dashcam, leaf-blower and various power tools were stolen from the van parked outside their Accrington home at around 4.30am on Monday, September 25.

Ruth, who works as a domestic assistant at a care home, said the incident follows a spate of similar crimes in the area, and said Anthony, who works as an artificial grass fitter, has already seen his livelihood suffer as a result of previous thefts.

She said: “He had another van stolen about six months ago, with everything inside.

“Then three months ago the shed was broken into, windows popped with more tools stolen.

“We’re really not happy about it. It’s so frustrating.

“We think they had a copy of the electronic key for the driver door - they knew what they were doing.”

Ruth, 27, added: “We have been targeted so many times now, and it’s scary because it’s getting worse.

Anthony Thorpe and Ruth Whittle, from Accrington. Anthony's work van was broken into and his tools were stolen. CCTV of the incident

“These are just lowlifes, but thefts are very common on this street.

“I know several people who have had their car windows smashed, and things taken out.

“I’m worried what else could happen because we have kids in the house.”

Anthony, 42, was asleep at his home on Pollard Street with Ruth and two daughters, aged six and 12, when the thieves struck.

After playing back the footage from the CCTV, Ruth said they concluded they had interrupted the thieves when they let their dog out at around 5am.

She said: “We think they were trying to take more, but we had disturbed them and they scarpered.

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“Watching somebody go through your stuff that you have paid for and knowing they are going to sell it on because they can’t be bothered to get a job - it’s upsetting.”

Lancashire Police said they are investigating the theft but there have been no arrests.

A spokesman said: “Unknown male offenders have approached a Mercedes van outside a property, gained entry through the rear door and have taken a number of tools and made off from the scene.

“We are trying to identify the people involved.”