Birmingham & Black Country

DIY SOS West Bromwich thefts: Offers of help 'stream in'

Nick Knowles Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Nick Knowles was pictured with police officers in West Bromwich on Thursday

Offers to repair vans and replace tools that were targeted by thieves during TV show DIY SOS have been "streaming in", volunteers say.

Builders helping the BBC programme transform a home in West Bromwich were hit over the past week, the show said.

Bricklayer Karl Wildman said he was "devastated" his tools were stolen.

Presenter Nick Knowles tweeted he would not let "a few nasties" cloud his judgement of the area as people had been "amazing" in helping out.

Three vans were hit in the past week as the team extended the home of Sandra Chambers, who has looked after her two grandchildren since the death of their mother Crystal in October 2015.

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A Peugeot and a Ford were broken into on Wednesday morning and tools taken. On Thursday a Mercedes Sprinter was then also broken into, but nothing was stolen.

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Media captionCrystal Chambers' family are being helped by the TV show

Mr Wildman, 37, said he wanted to help out after hearing about the tragic story. He spent seven days helping the programme and put the damage and thefts at £4,000.

"I went back on Wednesday for the final push and I parked about 400 yards away from the house and took some tools in with me," he said.

Image copyright Karl Wildman
Image caption Dozens of people turned up to help the programme in West Bromwich

"I came back out and saw my doors [to his Peugeot] were all smashed and the lock broken. Another van had been done as well.

"We just can't believe how low people can go. We are all here helping a family and these people have stooped so low to do this."

He said a Peugeot dealership had helped him by donating a van to use in the interim and he would be borrowing tools until he could replace them all.

Another volunteer Jardell Miller said: "We were volunteering in the house all day and despite this, everyone managed to stay so positive and motivated to do the best for the families.

"This isn't West Brom - this is some scum who have no morals. Shame on them.

"Offers to repair the van, and replace the tools have been streaming in thick and fast too, shows how amazing the community can be."

West Midlands Police is investigating the incidents.

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