A MILK van was stolen in Horwich yesterday morning – but it was found less than three hours later much to the business owner’s relief.

Delivery driver Richard Brockley was dropping off milk at a home which required him to go down steps on Brownlow Road at 6am.

He then heard someone get inside the vehicle, which still had its engine running.

Mr Brockley rushed back up the steps but the van made off before he got there.
He alerted Smithills Open Farm owner Carl Grimshaw and the incident was reported to police.

An appeal was also issued on the farm's Facebook page in the hope that people who came across the vehicle, which has distinctive signage emblazoned on it, would contact them.

Thankfully for the company, only a few hours later at 8.40am, one of Mr Grimshaw’s friends, who lives in Chorley, spotted the vehicle near his home and got in touch.

The owner drove to where the van was parked up and found that some damage was caused to its front bumper and the wing on the passenger side.

But he was accepts that the damage and the cost to repair it could have been worse.

He believes that the van, which still had plenty of bottles of milk left in the back, may have hit a wall in the area.

The Bolton News:

The Bolton News:

The Bolton News:

Outside and inside the milk van

Mr Grimshaw said: "I feel relieved. It is not as bad as it could have been.

"The van was left near one of my friend's houses luckily and he got in touch and said one of my vans was there.

"It is a little battered and banged up but it is roadworthy.

"It is fixable quite quickly and lots of people have offered their support.

"To be fair to Rick (Richard), after the van was stolen he went back to get a spare van to finish his rounds and we got the milk from another dairy farm."

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Damage caused to the van

Mercedes, which the farm has purchased a number of vehicles from has offered its help in improving the security on the van.

If you have any information contact police on 101.