​Woman Left Homeless After Thieves Drove Her 40ft Caravan Off On A Low Loader

We've all had a night out that turned a bit too messy, and woken up with no phone, no wallet and definitely no dignity. And that will always suck - but it won't suck as hard as losing your entire home, especially when it wasn't even your own fault.

A woman in Devon has been left homeless after thieves stole her fully-furnished, 40ft static caravan and loaded it off its based and onto a low loader - a lorry with a low floor and no sides, which is often used for transporting heavy loads.

Widowed grandmother Sonia McColl, aged 70, was in the process of moving to Devon from Dorset, when the raid took place last week in Willand, near Collompton.

Credit: SWNS

The 10-tonne, £30,000 caravan - a Stately Albion Chatsworth Silver model - was stationed in a haulage company's yard, and was all set for Sonia to move in before Christmas. However, it wasn't until a few days later that it became apparent that the mobile home had been stolen, giving the thieves plenty of time to get away.

"I'm devastated and shocked," says Sonia. "I still am, I'm numb. They've taken everything I've got. I can't point the finger.

"I'm staying with some friends at the moment; I don't know what I'm going to do."

PC Marie Gorfin explains that the nature of the incident showed the thieves knew exactly what they were doing.

"The home would have to had to been taken by a specific low loader trailer that is capable of taking a caravan of this size and by someone that knew what they were doing," she says.

"This is a very high value and emotive crime as victim is now homeless and clearly distraught."

Credit: SWNS

Sonia, who is the founder for the Park Homeowners Justice campaign - 'park homes' being another name for mobile homes - received an OBE in 2014 for her work in safeguarding park homeowners' rights. She says she has been receiving death threats for her involvement in the campaign, which is what had prompted her to move from her existing park home and buy the second-hand caravan.

TS Haulage, the haulage company where the caravan was based at the time, has said it is working with the police,giving them CCTV footage from the site to help. Devon and Cornwall Police have also since released an appeal for the home, with serial number SA11.049221E.

Fingers crossed she gets it back before too long. After all, mobile homes may be designed to be taken on the road - but not by any old sod.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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