Vital help for a young boy with autism has been put in jeopardy by thieves.
Little Riley Stanhope’s mum and dad had put money aside for pre-school therapy for their four year-old son.
But a break-in at the family engineering business could mean an end to the savings.
The thieves struck at LRS Motor Engineers, Low Mill, Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, which is run by Riley’s dad Ryan Stanhope, stealing thousands of pounds of tools he had bought to carry out his work over the years.
Self-employed Ryan, 33, who is married to Louise, had spent the last few years building up the vehicle repair business from scratch.
Now, to survive after the devastating raid, the Stanhopes, who also have a daughter, Kelbie, 19, fear they may eventually have to divert Riley’s therapy savings into the family coffers.
Louise, 37, said: “We want to get him some help with a sensory profile done, but the NHS won’t fund a specialist occupational therapist for children under five, they have to wait until they go to school and it’s a lengthy process.
“We decided to put money aside to pay for it privately but that money is now needed to pay for this.
“These thieves have taken away our way to make a living.”
Louise turned to Facebook for help, posting messages such as: “All we want are the tools back so we can get back to earning an honest living. They have taken everything not even left a spanner.
“If I had money to offer as a reward, I would gladly give it without a second thought. If it carries on any longer we will be lucky to make next month’s mortgage and rent on the building, and our son’s private medical treatment may have to be cancelled.”
And: “If it was you that took them and you are reading this right now, please just bring them back, leave at the door to the building and nothing more will be done.”
The raiders, who were captured on CCTV, struck in the early house of Wednesday morning.
They ripped through the doors of the workshop.
A Land Rover, belonging to a neighbouring business, that was also taken was recovered on Railway Road, Chorley.
Ryan, who has been at Low Mill for three years, said: “We spent three days repairing the building and getting stuff going again.
“It’s the first time we have been broken into.”
Police are still investigating and no arrests have been made as yet.