A MAN has had his van returned after it was stolen off a drive in Southampton.

David Head had his work van and £7,000 worth of tools stolen off a drive on Bitterne Road West on Friday just after 12pm.

But it was found just two days later with help from family - more than 30 miles away in Emsworth.

David is a self-employed painter and decorator who has been working in the business for 35 years.

He was finishing a job at a client's house when the van was stolen off the drive.

The thief can been seen on CCTV footage speeding away from the scene with all of the van doors still open, leaving a trail of discarded tools along the way.

David said: "At about 12'o'clock he came onto the drive and went into the house and took the keys.

"It's all been caught on CCTV.

"He then drove off and ran through a red light nearly knocking two people over.

"It was a couple of days later I got a phone call, it was my brother-in-laws 40th birthday and they were having a bit of a party.

"They said that they had seen the van parked just down the road from them.

"They went out to get it and by the time they got there the guy had run off, but they managed to get my van.

"It's empty now, all of the tools have been taken and there's new, dodgy plates that have been put on it.

"I can't work because I have no tools and I can't use my van because of the plates that are on it at the moment.

"It's upsetting, you get these toerags and then hard-working people like myself."

David said that as well as tools there was a new paint sprayer worth £2,500 as well as a number of golf clubs.

He said he reckons there is around £7,000 of tools that have been stolen.

David explained that a trail of tools were left scattered down the road and said that members of the public "helped themselves" and were seen walking down the road with tool boxes.

Now, police are searching for the thief.

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police said: "It was a Silver Peugeot Expert 1000.

"It was taken about 12.25pm July 26 from Bitterne Road West, Southampton.

"The van was later recovered in Emsworth but items including golf clubs and tools including some power tools were missing and we are investigating the theft."