Stolen New Forest truck found torched near dead calf

THE owner of a family-run scaffolding firm slammed “mindless” offenders who stole and torched its flatbed truck and apparently killed a New Forest calf. New Forest Scaffolding Ltd’s Beaulieu base was targeted in the early hours of last Friday, before the Mercedes Sprinter was found burnt out near the animal carcass near Deer Leap Enclosure later that morning.

The truck was found near the animal carcass close to Deer Leap Enclosure The truck was found near the animal carcass close to Deer Leap Enclosure

Tim Daw, who runs the company with his wife Sarah, was alerted to the theft by farmers based at their yard who, as retained firefighters, had responded to another blaze outside TV naturalist Chris Packham’s nearby home. It is believed the offenders had climbed over a fence into the yard before driving the truck through a gate to get out.

They are also thought to have smashed through two low-bar Forestry England gates. “We’re disgusted,” Mr Daw told the A&T.

“It’s just mindless vandalism. They have just taken the truck to joyride it, hit a calf and then burnt it.

“I really don’t know what goes through people’s minds when they do something like this.”

Mr Daw commented that the torched vehicle was found near the Beaulieu Road Pony Sale Yard, which New Forest Scaffolding Ltd has been helping with repairs following an arson attack in April. As reported in the A&T, flames engulfing a car had spread to a wooden structure at the New Forest livestock sales site near Lyndhurst in the early hours. Police have launched an investigation into the truck’s theft – reported to them around 2.20am – as well as the circumstances that led to a cyclist finding it burnt out by the dead calf around 8.10am.

Mr Daw said this was the first time New Forest Scaffolding Ltd had been hit by offenders in its 17-year history. “This is definitely affecting us,” he continued. “We’re a small family-run business, not a large company, with six of us in total. “That was our only smaller truck, alongside two lorries, and there are some places we can’t go to with just the larger lorries.

“We’re in the process of trying to get a replacement van, but for now it might just mean walking some of the equipment into certain sites.”

Anyone with information should contact Hampshire police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44210403883, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.