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West Bridgford
Monday, 21 June 2021

Ice cream van’s owners speak of shock at theft of their ‘livelihood’ as police return stolen vehicle

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A woman has spoken of her shock after the ice cream van operated by her husband was stolen.

It comes after a man pleaded guilty to the theft at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (4 September).

Bushra Yousaf’s husband Mohammed Yousaf has been an ice-cream seller for eight years and had his van stolen from his driveway in Bobber’s Mill on 3 September.

Mrs Yousaf said: “We were sleeping and a neighbour heard something, so he knocked on our door to let us know. It was a bit of a shock, but I called the police and they got onto it straight away.

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“I couldn’t believe this happened right outside our door – nothing like this has ever happened before. We can’t get over it; it’s still fresh in our minds.”

Mr Yousaf had already taken a hit to his earnings after he was forced to stop trading due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Mrs Yousaf said: “He had to stop working during lockdown because he didn’t want to pass anything on to the children buying ice creams, or bring anything back into the family.

“We got the van back within an hour, so we were really pleased with that. It would have impacted us massively to be without it, because it’s his livelihood and way of making money.”

Inspector Mark Stanley said: “The theft of commercial vehicles can have a really big impact on small business owners who often rely on them to make a living. I’m really pleased that in this case we were able to return the van so quickly and minimise the financial impact on Mr and Mrs Yousaf.

“When it comes to vehicle crime, vigilance is key. Anyone who sees any suspicious activity around a vehicle should report it to us on 101.”

The incident happened just after 1am on 3 September, when officers from Nottinghamshire Police were called to a report that an ice cream van had been stolen in Bobbers Mill Road, Bobbers Mill.

Gavin Fouracres, 22, from Long Eaton, pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle, driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and failing to stop for police. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months, given a 12 month community order and sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work.