Man's livelihood in tatters after thieves steal tools

Norwich man loses livelihood after tool theft

Will Otterwell, with his daughter Mia, who had thousands of pounds worth of tools stolen from his van leaving him out of work - Credit: Will Otterwell

A landscape gardener from Norwich has been left unable to work after thieves nabbed thousands of pounds worth of tools from his van.

Will Ottewell, 42, found power tools and equipment worth £6-7,000 had been stolen from his van after he parked up near his house in Stafford Street on Friday, November 26. 

And he has been told he will only get £150 from his insurance company for the stolen tools.

Norwich man loses thousands after tool theft

Mr Otterwell's Nissan van will need to be replaced due to the severity of the damage to the doors and locks - Credit: Will Otterman

Mr Ottewell, who started NR Gardening in 2017, said: "I've basically been off work ever since the theft. I've had a couple of jobs but it's really done me over. 

"It's obviously never good to have your tools stolen but with Christmas coming up and Covid kicking off again it certainly isn't the best time." 

"For a self-employed business it has had a huge impact and it's going to take a long time to get back up and running fully again. 

"All my customers have been really understanding and sympathetic and some have helped out lending me tools.

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"The van is a write-off as well as the doors and locks were so badly damaged."

Norwich man loses livelihood after tool theft

The door handles were ripped off Mr Otterwell's van during the theft - Credit: Will Otterman

The theft was one of several over that weekend after a number of vans were broken into in the city. 

Norfolk Police has said the investigation is now closed as there are no leads. 

Mr Ottewell is still waiting to recover damages following the theft.

Unfortunately the theft of the tools is not covered under his policy and will have to recuperate the loss on his own.

"You'd think if you have fully-comprehensive insurance it would cover all contents in the van if it is stolen but unfortunately not," he said. 

"They are happy to take your money but when it comes to paying out it's a whole different matter."  

Admiral has said cover against tool theft is an “upgrade” to its vehicle insurance policy as not all customers would require it, which is available to purchase as 'vehicle contents cover.' Personal belongings cover is set at a maximum of £150, which is currently all Mr Ottewell can expect to receive.

Mr Ottewell added: "Every little helps but that far from covers the loss. I'll need to beg and borrow the money and it could take months before I'm back on my feet."