‘My Uncle’s van tools were stolen on the same day my Dad died’: heartfelt appeal from Leighton Buzzard woman

Christopher Aston
Christopher Aston

A determined daughter is appealing for Leighton-Linslade’s help, as on the same day that her beloved father died, yobs stole tools from her grieving uncle’s van.

Sharon Aston, 46, lost her father, Christopher Aston, 70, when he died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital on May 22 due to breathing difficulties resulting from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

That evening the family went for a drink in the Red Lion pub, North Street, but when her Uncle John returned to his white Ford Transit van, which he’d parked in the Duncombe Drive car park, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that the doors were flung wide open and his work tools gone.

Sharon said: “Dad used to pop into the Red Lion so we were sat there reminiscing, and then my Uncle John said to my mum, June, that he would give her a lift home.

“They walked over to the car park at the back of The Swan and found the van doors wide open and tools gone, including strimmers and a Honda portable generator.

“I couldn’t believe it when they told me what happened.

“Uncle John, who lives in Wales, was supposed to stay in Leighton Buzzard, but said ‘I can’t stay here now’ and drove home that evening. He’d already driven for three hours to get to our town that morning.

“I know whoever did it didn’t know that Uncle John had just lost his brother; but losing your father and brother is a sad enough day and the last thing we wanted to see was anger on a day like that.”

Sharon fondly remembers that her father made many friends in Leighton Buzzard, known for wearing lots of badges and riding his mobility scooter.

She said: “Dad was a bit of a character around the town and was known for decorating his scooter with lights at Christmas.

“He’d also play music on his phone - even the girls in Iceland would say, ‘turn it up, I like this one!’

“Before he passed away, I sat holding his arm and talking to him. Dad wasn’t awake but I told him that my brother Robert had found out that he was having a little boy.I said that the name will carry on - there will be another Christopher Aston in the family.”

Sharon would like to thank the community for their support after she posted about the incident on social media.

The family were in the pub from around 5.30pm/6pm until 7.30pm and want to know if anyone saw anything suspicious in the car park.

Christopher leaves behind his brothers John, 66, and Peter, 80, his four children: Sharon and Christopher (whom he’d had with former partner June, Sharon’s mum), and Robert and Lucy, as well as eight - soon to be nine - grandchildren.

A Beds Police spokeswoman, said: “We have received a report that a number of tools were stolen from a van that was parked in Duncombe Drive on March 22 between 5.15pm and 7pm. We’d urge anyone with any information to contact us by calling 101 quoting reference 40/264/18.”