AN ENTERTAINMENT specialist from the New Forest is offering a £10,000 reward to help track down his stolen van and equipment.

Paul Lofthouse, who lives in Poulner near Ringwood, woke up on Thursday, February 22 to discover his large silver van had been taken from the driveway.

The vehicle contained an array of expensive DJ, light and sound equipment, which Mr Lofthouse uses to run his business Pa concert sound systems.

He estimates that in total the theft has left him £20,000 out of pocket and having to piece together his entire music collection which featured 500 CDs.

Mr Lofthouse, who has been providing event services in Bournemouth, the New Forest and surrounding areas for almost 40 years, says his livelihood has been taken from him.

"I looked out the window and saw the van had gone," he said.

"My first thought was that my son must be borrowing it, but I phoned him and he said he wasn't using it. Suddenly it dawned on me that everything it had been stolen.

"That night I didn't get to sleep until 4.30am. I was just trying to remember everything that was in there.

"All my professional CD players and equipment were on board. I don't think whoever did this realises the impact it has had."

Since the loss of his van Mr Lofthouse has used his savings to buy a replacement vehicle and piece together enough equipment to do an event this weekend.

He is offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to the return of stolen van and contents subject to successful prosecution and conviction of those responsible.

"All the work I do this year and the money I get from it will go towards recouping what I have lost from this if I don't get the van back.

"I've got events coming up and people are relying on me to be there so I have had to act quickly to be able to still provide my services.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: "We're investigating the theft of a silver Citroen Relay van containing DJ equipment from a driveway on The Mount in Poulner.

"Anyone with information about the incident should call 101 quoting incident number 44180070294."