THIEVES stole a wood carver’s tools from his van before abandoning it.

Mark “Rusty” Russell, 50, woke to find his green van missing from near his houseboat on Colchester’s King Edwards Quay.

The van was found four miles away, in Homefield Road, after an appeal on Facebook. His tools, worth thousands of pounds, were missing.

The probation officer also runs Marnic Wood Carvings and created an owl for Highwoods Country Park, has items outside B&Q in Clacton and was commissioned to design a green man, owl and an Easter Island head for Colchester Castle.

Mr Russell, who is involved in the Cosmic Puffin Festival, said: “All my chainsaws were inside, including a new one I had never used. It is a relief to get the van back, but I could have replaced it more easily than the tools.”

The Ford Transit was stolen between Tuesday at 10pm and yesterday at 8am.

The tools include an MS880, MS211 and MS180 Stihl chainsaws.

Anyone with information can call Colchester police on 101.