Stolen precious memories – including a person’s ashes – were among items recovered from a burnt-out van in Arborfield.

Anti-social behaviour officers of Wokingham Borough Council have returned the ashes, a ‘baby’s first year box’ and photographs to the owner after being called to the flytip.

The items were stolen along with the van, which had been packed up ready for a house move. Thieves kept all items of monetary value before apparently dumping the van – along with most of its contents – on Sheerlands Road.

Wokingham Borough Council said: “A grateful resident has been reunited with irreplaceable items including loved one's ashes, photographs and a 'baby's first year' memory box after they were stolen during a house move.

“Our anti-social behaviour team were called to a partially burnt out van in Arborfield and managed to track down the owner of the items The van had been packed up ready to move house and was stolen from outside the victim's home overnight.”

“Our officer salvaged undamaged items and returned them to the resident. All items of monetary value were taken.”

It added: “The perpetrator is yet to be caught and anyone with any information should contact the police on 101.”