A HANDYMAN who suffered post traumatic stress disorder after being attacked with ammonia during a house raid has become a victim again after his van was stolen.

More than 30 years worth of tools were stolen together with the van belonging to a 56-year-old from Southend.

The theft took place on Sunday with more than £4,000 in tools taken including an air blower, a hot melt gun, screwdrivers and more, after breaking the steering wheel lock off.

The victim suffered permanent damage to his site two-and-a-half years ago when a gang broke into his home.

He said: “It wasn’t long ago when thieves entered my home with two Lucozade bottles filled with ammonia which one of them sprayed me with. The other had a knife and the other had a stick.

“This time when I saw the van go past, I felt numb. I’m so angry and it just brought back all the memories which caused me sleepless nights for a year following the attack. All I can think is ‘what’s next’.

“It’s just devastating, I’ve gathered the tools for 30 years or more which I use all the time for handy DIY bits. They have real sentimental value to me.

“They clearly have no morals, my neighbour said they saw the men staring at me through the window. All these things don’t cost much on their own, but accumulated it’s thousands.”

The owner hopes that his vehicle will be found, following reports the van is still in the area. He said: “Apparently it was seen on Trinity Road, in Southend not long after it was taken, but who knows where it is now. It’s not on the system as stolen, they may have even changed the number plates.

“Usually I park the van so it blocks in my other car, which is more expensive, so I did think maybe they took it to get to our other car.

“It’s just ridiculous now - my neighbour two doors up was burgled last year and the year before another of my neighbours were hit.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called to reports a white Suzuki Carry panel van had been stolen from an address in Lonsdale Road, Southend at around 10.50pm on June 2. If you have any information please call us on 101 quoting incident 1408.”