A 70-year-old widowed grandmother from Devon, England, was left homeless after thieves stole her 40-foot, £30,000 static caravan by lifting it from its base, putting it on a low loader trailer and just driving off with it. They broke into the yard s.
The victim, Sonia McColl, believes that the unusual theft is somehow connected to her activity as the founder of the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign. She had been tirelessly campaigning to protect homeowner rights, an effort that didn’t sit very well with unscrupulous mobile home site owners. McColl told reporters that she was in the process of moving from Dorset to Devon after suffering multiple death threats for her campaigning. She had recently bought a static caravan in Willand, near Cullompton, but never imagined it could get stolen. She now has nothing left but the curtains that she had intended to fit in her new home. The static caravan was unfortunately not insured, leaving McColl penniless.
“I’m devastated and shocked, I still am, I’m numb,” McColl told the Daily Mail. “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. If I was told I had to move out of here tomorrow, I would have to throw myself at the feet of the council.”
McColl was in the process of moving from Dorset to Devon after suffering multiple death threats for her campaigning and having managed to change the law to prevent unscrupulous mobile home site owners from blocking and selling homes.
“I ran a campaign that changed the law so that could not happen anymore,” McColl said. “And I’m currently doing one that is trying to stop them taking 10 percent commission when people sell their homes. Consequently, I did have death threats, I used to live in a park home in Dorset, and after losing my husband and dog, I received a number of death threats telling me to abandon what I was doing. My family convinced me to sell my home and move elsewhere, so I put my home up for sale, sold it, and moved to another location just as the campaign was taking off. I moved to Devon.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have opened an investigation into this case and made an appeal to the public for any information they can provide. So far, all they know is that the theft occurred sometime between 6 pm on Wednesday, November 22 and 6 am on Thursday, November 23, and that the perpetrators needed special equipment to pull it off.
“The home would have 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,” police constable Marie Gorfin said. “This is a very high value and emotive crime as the victim is now homeless and clearly distraught. We are urging anyone with information to come forward to police by emailing us via [email protected] or by calling 101 quoting CR/102371/17.”