A MECHANIC was dragged along the road as he tried to stop a thief from stealing his van.

The mechanic was working on a broken down Peugeot in the Tesco Metro car park in Market Street, Little Lever, at about 6.40pm on Valentine’s Day when the thief struck.

He had left his own Ford Transit van next to the car with the engine running and the headlights on so he could see what he was doing.

A man then jumped into his van and started to drive away.

The independent mechanic, who wishes to remain anonymous, grabbed hold of the passenger door and was dragged alongside it as he tried to pull himself into the moving vehicle.

He fell out of the van on to the road and the thief escaped in the van towards Market Street, before turning left into Church Street, heading towards Bolton.

The mechanic was not seriously injured, but was bruised and left with a dislocated thumb.

The thief is white, in his mid 20s, about 26 to 27 years old, with short blonde hair and an unshaven, long face.

Det Con Steve Riddle, from Bolton CID, said: “The victim is extremely lucky not to have been seriously injured.

“It is only through good fortune that he wasn’t run over. The actions of the thief were both opportunistic and reckless and I now want people’s help. Did you see this man approach the van or did you see him drive it away?”

Publican Sean Hornby said: “I am shocked to hear about what happened.

“The mechanic had come out to fix someone’s broken down vehicle and was simply doing his job.

“It happened at a time when it would have been busy.

“I hope the perpetrator is caught and he feels the full force of the law.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Bolton CID on 0161 856 5609 or 0161 8565645 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, 0800 555111.