A BEACH cabin repairman is out of work after his tools are stolen.
Erwin Van Rooyen’s equipment was taken from the locked beach hut he was working at along Hove Promenade last Monday, just two weeks after he took the job.
He was forced to register with Universal Credit and cancel a camping trip with his two children while he works to replace the stolen property.
“Probably someone saw me packing for the day,” Erwin said.
“It was a total shock when I got here. I showed up and it was closed nicely again but the locks were on the floor.
“I am absolutely devastated. I started with nothing when I started this and now when I look at the cost of everything it will cost around £1,000 to replace.
“I know people are pushing for security cameras and bringing the police a little bit more here. It’s been like this for quite a while. I think that’s the solution.”
Erwin left his office job in London because of the pandemic and after fixing a beach hut for a friend he found a new profession by the sea.
He has become a well-known and well-liked character among beach cabin renters, many of whom have shared messages of support through his Go Fund Me page to raise money for replacement tools.
Jane Power, who donated to the fund, said: “I’m really sorry to read that, Erwin.
“You were so generous with advice and action – I hope the cabin community supports it.”
While another said: “We need to get you back into action Erwin.”
Erwin’s kids are also doing their part to get him back in business by painting signs for beach shacks for sale.
“My daughter Amber said she wanted to start painting beach hut signs with numbers, so she tried to sell them to make money,” Erwin said.
“My two children said ‘look, come on dad, we want to come and help you’. They are good children.”
So far, Erwin, who lives in Hove, has raised just over half of his £880 target and said any donations from beach hut owners will offset the equivalent of any future work they need.
“I believe in karma, I just want to give back to people,” he said.
“I am also a cognitive behavioral therapy practitioner.
“My biggest dream is to have my own beach shack, hopefully a rundown one, and use it as a center for mindfulness where you can sit individually, or use it as a small studio for people to do arts and crafts.
“I would love to take that to beach huts and give back to the community. It’s my dream and I’ll work hard for it.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said the theft was reported to them on August 16.
“A lot of tools were stolen between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. the night before,” he said.
“Witnesses or anyone with information can report this to us online or on 101 and serial number 420 dated 08/16. quote.”
You can donate to Erwin’s Go Fund Me page here.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20675814.hove-beach-hut-repair-man-tools-stolen/?ref=rss Hove beach hut repairman stole tools