A DAUGHTER'S appeal to find her dad's stolen work van has had a happy ending, thanks to an amateur detective.

On Sunday night, a white Ford high-top transit was taken from Winklebury and ended up 14 miles away in Reading.

The vehicle was found on Burghfield Road near Prospect Park on Monday morning by accountant Lee.

The sharp-eyed 37-year-old spotted that the door had been tampered with and took to Facebook to see if it anyone had reported a van missing.

He told The Gazette: “Whenever there are cars I don’t recognise on our street, I’ll put them into Facebook to see if they have been stolen as it’s happened before.

“I didn’t recognise this van and I mentioned it to my dad. We noticed the door was ajar and it looked like it had been stolen.”

“I noticed another post which said the van had been taken the night before. The number plates matched up so I contacted the daughter to let her know.”

Lee called police and after a half an hour wait on the phone, officers arrived around 20 minutes later.

“The police were quite quick, to be fair. They were here within 20 minutes and then around an hour later, they towed it away to take it to a compound,” he said.

The accountant downplayed his detective skills and his role in reuniting the van with its owner. He said: “It’s nothing really, if you do a good turn you hope others will do the same. It's about looking after each other.”

Last night, Karen Allen took to Facebook after her dad’s white van was taken from an address in Winklebury.

She posted: “My dad’s van has been stolen in the last hour. [It’s a] white Ford high top transit. Please keep an eye out. Stolen in Winklebury.”

Karen Allen, the daughter of the man whose van was stolen, said he was relieved. She said: “He’s just glad it’s been found. He appreciates all the public’s help for being so vigilant.”

Hampshire Constabulary has been contacted for comment.

There were nine vehicle crimes reported in west Basingstoke, which covers the area of Winklebury, in June 2020. This was down from 14 crimes in 2019.