A DISTRAUGHT family has pleaded for the return of their motorhome after it was stolen from their driveway by thieves in the middle of the night.

Patricia Magana-Jones, 47, discovered the Chausson campervan was stolen on Thursday morning when her daughter arrived at her house in Mersea Road and asked her where the motorhome was.

After going outside to see if it was on the driveway, the mum-of-three found it had disappeared.

The campervan, which has the registration plate DK60 AWR, had been bought by Mrs Magana-Jones's late husband in 2018 at the cost of £30,000 after he completed a degree at university, and the two took their family of five on holidays across the country.

Before Mrs Magana-Jones’ husband died of cancer, he had told her to “make sure to have plenty of adventures”, but the loss of the campervan has left her and her three children devastated.

Gazette: Valued – the campervan, which was £30,000 had regularly been used for family holidaysValued – the campervan, which was £30,000 had regularly been used for family holidays (Image: Magana-Jones)

More concerning for Mrs Magana-Jones, who works as a bookkeeper, was the fact people had approached her house several times in recent weeks to ask her if the motorhome was for sale.

She said: “Earlier this week, twice someone with an Irish accent came to ask if it was for sale and five people in the last two weeks.

“I should have used my intuition there and then, but I am glad my children and I are OK.

“I feel they were watching is and they knew they were going to be on my own – I feel vulnerable and I feel scared.

“That’s probably what they wanted – I feel violated.”

Mrs Magana-Jones added: “I was shocked; I was in disbelief and I just didn’t know what happened.

Gazette: Activities – Patricia Magana-Jones, 47, regularly took her family out on trips in the campervanActivities – Patricia Magana-Jones, 47, regularly took her family out on trips in the campervan (Image: Patricia Magana-Jones)

“My daughter loves the motorhome because it is a huge comfort for her – she calls it the wheels on the bus.

“And my son is devastated – I know it’s a material item but there is a huge sentimental value to it.

“I only used it as recently as Monday, and I use it all the time for going to Ipswich for bike trips.

“It is degrading that people think they can take what’s not theirs.”

What Essex Police said...

A spokesman for Essex Police said the force was appealing for witnesses following the theft.

He said: “We received a call shortly before 9.30am on Thursday 30 November from a member of the public reporting the theft of a campervan from her driveway, in Mersea Road, Colchester.

“It is believed the van was stolen between 3pm on Wednesday 29 November and 9.30am on Thursday 30 November.

“Officers attended a short time later, taking a statement from the victim and carrying out door-to-door enquiries at the scene.

“We are appealing for any witnesses, or anyone who may have relevant doorbell or dashcam footage, to come forward.

“You can let us know by submitting a report on our website or by using our online Live Chat service available Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 10am-9pm.

“Visit www.essex.police.uk/digital101 to find out more about our website reporting services.

“Alternatively you can call us on 101.

“Please quote crime reference number 42/213037/23."