A FAMILY’S livelihood hangs in the balance after their van full of specialist equipment was stolen while a worker was still inside.

A 19-year-old window cleaner from Active Cleaning and Maintenance was in the back of the van, which was parked in Dawson Close, Accrington, when a robber jumped in the front seat and sped away.

The stunned window cleaner fell out of the rear of the vehicle as it began to move, and quickly jumped to his feet to chase it down the street.

The Ford Transit van was full of specialist cleaning equipment including a water tank worth £9,000 as well as power jets, hoses and ladders, all of which would have been worth around £20,000 altogether.

The firm uses the equipment to carry out their services which include window cleaning, power washing, ground mainten-ance, office cleaning and valets.

Without it, the family-run business will struggle to operate and Andrew Wilcock, managing director of the firm, has now issued a £1,000 reward to anyone who finds the van.

Jessica Dowling, And-rew’s daughter-in-law, said: “The van was essential to our livelihoods and we just can’t believe that this has happened. It’s a family business and we are all going to be affected by it.

“My partner Ben and I have two young children, a three-year-old and a seven-month-old, and we just don’t know how this is going to affect our income.

“We only live round the corner from Dawson Close and it’s unsettling that this kind of thing happens, especially so close to home.”

The theft was reported to the police who said that they would log the registration and let the family know if it was found.

The Wilcock family knocked on doors and collected CCTV images.

Jessica said: “The police weren’t doing anything and even when we had collected the CCTV they told us they couldn’t come and collect it and we had to drop it off at the station. I know it maybe isn’t a priority to them but the business is in danger of folding.”

A spokesman for Lancas-hire police said: “We are aware of this incident and enquiries are being made. CCTV has been viewed, but unfortunately on this occasion it has not been helpful to the investigation. If anybody has any information they are asked to call police on 101.”