A woman has been left homeless after thieves stole her home in a night-time raid.

The criminals broke into her yard using lock and bolt cutters and moved the 40ft static caravan on to a low-loader before driving off with it.

The theft happened in the village of Willand in Devon on November 22 and police are appealing for information. Locals are being advised to keep an eye out for the caravan's serial number, SA11.049221E.

The victim, a woman in her 50s, was not on the premises at the time but was said to be deeply distraught at the prospect of being without her home over Christmas.

PC Marie Gorfin said: "The home would have had to have been taken by a low-loader trailer capable of taking a caravan of this size and by someone who knew what they were doing.

"This is a very high-value and emotive crime as the victim is now homeless and clearly distraught.

"We are urging anyone with information to come forward to police by emailing us via 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting CR/102371/17."

Anyone who witnessed the crime or has more information can anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The theft of mobile homes is rare but not unprecedented.

Earlier this year police in Australia recovered a £12,000 home stolen by a thief who had driven it 800 miles from Canberra to southern Queensland in just 24 hours. Police are still on the lookout for the criminal.

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