Devastated Newtoft stolen van owner says: ‘Little Lottie is my livelihood’

Lu Newlove is appealing for the safe return of Lottie (pictured). EMN-180227-101723001
Lu Newlove is appealing for the safe return of Lottie (pictured). EMN-180227-101723001

A Newtoft woman is ‘absolutely devastated’ after her burger van which she calls ‘a real fixture’ in the town was stolen over the weekend.

Lu Newlove spoke to the Market Rasen Mail about the theft of the van - which she affectionately named Lottie.

According to Lu, Lottie was stolen from outside her home on Newtoft Business Park between the hours of 7pm and 7am on Saturday (February 24)/Sunday (February 25).

Upon waking up on Sunday morning, Lu realised Lottie was gone and reported it to the authorities.

As a single mother with five children, Lu relies on Lottie as her source of income.

She regularly sells her burgers and other food items to hungry customers on Gallamore Industrial Estate, in Market Rasen.

But it is not just industrial estates where Lu and Little Lottie make their money.

Lu also takes Lottie to events all year round, including the Mayor’s annual event in the town.

Lu, who has had the van for about three-and-a-half years, said: “It is absolutely devastating.

“She (Lottie) is a real fixture in Market Rasen.

“She is absolutely integral to events.

“You get very attached (to her) - it is your livelihood.”

Lu and Lottie have been booked for a number of events later on in the year, such as weddings, but if Lottie is not found, clients will be left disappointed.

Despite the sad news, Lu is still continuing to work hard to serve her hungry customers.

She has roped in the assistance of Bertha - another burger van - while the hunt for Lottie continues.

Lu shared the news about Lottie on the Market Rasen Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page, in the hope that it may help track down Lottie and bring her home.

Taking to the page on Sunday morning, Lu said: “We’ve worked really hard on making Lottie a lovely little van and I am truly heartbroken someone would take her.”

Lu has reported the theft to Lincolnshire Police, and has praised the work they are doing to help track Lottie down and get her home.

In an extra bid to get Lottie home safely, Lu is now offering a reward for her safe return.

She has asked if anyone knows where Lottie is or has any information on Lottie, that they should message her via Facebook by searching for Lu Newlove.

Lu also praised the support she has received from the Rasen community.

She has had messages coming in thick and fast following her Facebook post on Sunday morning.

Lu said: “The response has been absolutely heartwarming.

“Everyone looks after each other in Market Rasen.”

Lu would also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has helped so far, and those who have shared her Facebook post.

If you have any information to assist police in their enquiries, call 101 quoting crime reference number 83-25/08/2018.