Stolen camper van discovered driving in convoy of nicked vehicles

Howard Nelson, who had his VW Camper Van stolen last week, is relieved to have it back after it was found in Lowestoft.

Howard Nelson, who had his VW camper van stolen last week, is relieved after it was found in Lowestoft. - Credit: Howard Nelson / PA Wire

The keys to a beloved camper van will soon be handed back to its rightful owner after the motor was found in a convoy of stolen vehicles.

The van - which has undergone a £35,000 revamp - was spotted by police officers in Lowestoft who attempted to pull the VW over. 

A spokesman for Lowestoft police said: "Passing patrol spotted a stolen motor vehicle from Norfolk travelling in convoy with a stolen motorcycle also from Norfolk.

"Neither vehicle wanted to stop and assumed the blue lights were purely for decoration.

The VW Camper Van is called Bertha and was stolen from a garage in Rackheath.

The VW Camper Van is called Bertha and was stolen from a garage in Rackheath. - Credit: Howard Nelson

"Vehicles stopped and the driver/rider made off on foot in the area of Commodore Road, Lowestoft.

"Both vehicles have been subsequently recovered and enquiries are ongoing.

"Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any dash cam, ring doorbell or CCTV footage to make contact via 101 or www.suffolk.police.uk quoting Cad reference SC-14072022-486."

Howard Nelson spent around £35,000 to restore both the inside and outside of the camper van.

Howard Nelson spent around £35,000 to restore both the inside and outside of the camper van. - Credit: Howard Nelson

It comes after the van's owner, Howard Nelson, dropped his 1975 Bay Window van off in a Rackheath garage last week only to be told on July 14 it had been stolen.

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Mr Howard, from Hunstanton, said: "It's been confirmed the vehicle is mine and I'm now just waiting for it to be released from the police compound.

"We'll pick it up and assess it afterwards.

Howard Nelson, 65, from Hunstanton.

Howard Nelson, 65, from Hunstanton. - Credit: Howard Nelson

"The main thing is that it's been recovered.

"It's such a relief and feels good to know I'll have it back - I'm very pleased with the outcome.

"People in the community were really supportive and shared the news a lot - they were all really good."

Mr Nelson spent thousands of pounds to fully kit out his camper van, both inside and outside over a two-and-a-half-year period.

He also lovingly named it Bertha.

The retired management consultant had dropped his camper van at a garage in Norwich to have some work done on its engine.

CCTV around the industrial estate, where the garage was, captured a vehicle driving out of the area with no lights between 2am and 2.30am on Thursday.