WWII-era jeep owner ‘gutted’ after thieves used his own tools to steal ‘pride and joy’ from Aberdeen barn

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Cheeky thieves moved a five-ton forklift and used the owner’s own tools to break into an Aberdeen barn and steal a ‘pristine’ WWII jeep.Willy Ellis spent thousands riding Willy’s Jeep, describing it as his “pride and joy”.

The 63-year-old was “absolutely gutted” to discover while on vacation that thieves had stolen the historic vehicle.

The Aberdeenshire factory manager even offered a reward of £ 1,000 for useful information that leads to the recovery of the vehicle.

Willy said: “I’m absolutely gutted. I only found out on Friday because we were in a trailer.

“It was the owner who found my doors open and knew something was missing, he couldn’t reach me until Friday.

“I’m just gutted.

“I don’t know what happened to him, he just got stolen. Someone said they saw the jeep in the back of a trailer in Newark last night. The ports have been informed. ”

To gain access to the vehicle, which was in a locked barn, the thieves had to move a five-ton forklift truck, before burning through the locks with Willy’s own oxy-acetylene torch.

He said, “They pushed a forklift that was blocking him.

“A five-ton forklift backed up through the doors. I had the batteries and I don’t know how they managed to move the thing.

“And they used my oxy-acetylene equipment to open the doors, they just burned the locks.

The vehicle was built in 1944, Willy delving into the history of the vehicle. Researchers were able to pinpoint exactly when his jeep even rolled off the production line.

The Willys MB was a workshop for Allied forces during WWII, President Eisenhower once calling it, “one of the three decisive weapons the United States had.”

Vehicles in the same condition as this can sell for up to £ 30,000.

Willy said: “I’ve had it maybe 15, 20 years. I’ve just done this over the years, it’s just pristine condition

“I spent thousands there to do it. When I bought it, it was just a wreck.

“It was my pride and my joy.”

A Scottish Police spokeswoman said: ‘We received a report of a burglary in a shed at Swellhead Farm, Blairs, Aberdeen on Thursday 27 August.

“The burglary allegedly took place between Tuesday August 25 and Thursday August 27 at noon and a number of items were stolen, including a WWII jeep.

“Anyone with information about the incident should contact Scottish Police on 101 citing incident number 3499 of 27 August.

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