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Heartbroken business owner’s plea: Help me find my stolen tuk-tuk last seen entering Newham

PUBLISHED: 17:37 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:09 16 October 2017

Tuk-tuk Fred pictured at a wedding

Tuk-tuk Fred pictured at a wedding

Emily Herriott

A young entrepreneur has begged for the return of her beloved coffee-selling tuk-tuk after it was stolen from outside her home.

Emily Herriott’s distinctive three-wheel cart, affectionately known as “Fred”, was last spotted on council CCTV footage heading into Maryland, Newham, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

It was snatched approximately 10 minutes earlier at 1.43am outside the 31-year-old’s front door in Leslie Road, Leyton.

Emily, known as Em, has run her mobile business We Are Here from the tiny vehicle for two years – often displaying it in East Village Market, Stratford.

“I am absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “I treated Fred as a family member.”

Emily 'Em' Herriott ran her 'We Are Here' coffee business from her tuk-tuk before it was stolenEmily 'Em' Herriott ran her 'We Are Here' coffee business from her tuk-tuk before it was stolen

The business owner only discovered her Indian-imported tuk-tuk had been stolen when she left her home the following morning.

“I thought the road looked more empty then it does normally and it took me a little while to see Fred had gone,” she said.

Devastated, Em contacted the police but the tuk-tuk has yet to be found.

However, she has since discovered the moment a gang of three hooded men broke into the mobile vehicle and stole it, as found on CCTV video obtained from her neighbour’s camera.

In it, a Renault Modus is seen reversing into shot moments later before the tuk-tuk is shunted down the road out of view.

Em also managed to track down additional video from Waltham Forest Council showing it being driven past Draper’s Field before it enters Newham.

“I’m still unsure why someone would take him, he could get broken down and sold off or be seen street trading sometime in the future, it’s anyone’s guess,” Em said.

She has described the cart as a Piaggio Apé model, with a sleeker and more rounded front than traditional tuk-tuks.

A social media campaign hashtagged #FindFred has also been launched while Em has thanked the public for their support.

Police confirmed they were notified of the theft.

A spokeswoman said: “The stolen vehicle is described as a ‘tuk tuk’ adapted to accommodate a coffee machine, branded with ‘We Are Here’ coffee.”

Officers from Waltham Forest are investigating.

No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue.

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