Two Hastings businesses said they were thankful for the power of social media after they were reunited with their stolen vans.
Mercedes Sprinter vans were stolen from carpet store Kiley’s Karpets and bathroom shop Clipvalve on Friday evening or the early hours of Saturday morning.
Both companies reported the thefts to Sussex Police as well as appealing on social media.
Within 16 hours, both companies had been reunited with their vans thanks to social media users spotting them in the area.
Clipvalve’s blue van was found in Cranbrooke at about 6pm on Saturday and Kiley’s Karpets’ colourful vehicle was seen in Harbour Road, Rye, later that evening.
Dain Jenson, from Kiley’s Karpets, in Sedlescombe Road North, Hastings, hopes the power of social media will deter criminals from stealing vans in the future. He said: “We put out an appeal, everybody shared andd loads of people got back to us to say they’d seen it. Fortunately, because of Facebook, it got found and recovered.
“The stealing seems to have been a professional job as both vans were stolen and parked up in separate places without anything being stolen. Thankfully, people on social media recognised the distinctive vans and alerted us to where they were.
“As local businesses, we are just as keen as anyone to cut down crime. These Facebook appeals worked because they spread so quickly and both vans were found before anything was stolen.”
Both vans are currently with police who are searching for information about who may have stolen them.
Steve Howe, from Clipvalve, in Stonefield Road, Hastings, said he is hoping his van will be returned soon.
He said: “I’ve emailed Sussex Police this morning for an update because we’re currently down to one van.
“We just want to say a big thank you to the people on social media for sharing the post as the police don’t have time to look into this.
“We are very relieved.”
Sussex Police said: “Anyone who saw anything is asked to contact police online quoting serial 307 of 05/01.”