AN antique chest worth almost a thousand pounds has been stolen from a van on the car park of a Bromsgrove hotel.

David Forster, of art transporting company ArtMoveUK, had the Chinese coffer - worth around £800 - taken from his van at Bromsgrove Hotel at around 8.30pm on Monday evening.

Mr Forster had been driving from his company's Northumberland base to deliver the item to a customer in Warwickshire and was staying at the Birmingham Road hotel to break up the journey for the night after getting stuck in traffic.

In addition to the theft of the chest - described as a 19th century Chinese, red, lacquered and gilt-carved coffer - items of vintage clothing and jewellery were also taken.

Altogether, Mr Forster estimates that the stolen goods are worth £1,400.

Another hotel guest raised the alarm after discovering their Mini Cooper had been broken into and their mobile phone stolen.

Mr Forster, whose company transports art all over the country, said thefts were becoming more and more common.

He believes they used a screwdriver to pop open his van's lock in this instance.

He added: "There seems to be an increase in vans being broken into.

"So we are having to park in the safest spots we can find, under spotlights, where there's CCTV.

"But it doesn't seem to matter, the thieves don't seem to be bothered."

Mr Forster is hoping CCTV footage will help catch the thieves, as well as the unusualness of the item should the criminals try to sell it.

Warwickshire and West Mercia Police confirmed the theft had been reported - anyone with information should call 101, quoting crime reference number 0831s of 21/10/19.