United Kingdom

Daredevil parachute instructor who taught Tom Cruise to skydive has camper van stolen

A Team GB skydiver who taught the sport to Tom Cruise for Mission: Impossible has been left devastated after having her £30,000 van stolen.

Sian Stokes, from East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, said her grey Ford custom camper - which had 'literally our whole life in' - was nicked on Wednesday night.

The 33-year-old said she and fiance Ian Hodgkinson, 49, feel like they 'have lost everything' and she may have to pull out of the world championships in August.

She told MailOnline: 'There is literally our whole life in the van, I feel like I have lost everything and don't know where to turn.

'We are both full time skydivers so rely on this for work. We're both also part of the British team.

'But it looks like I will need to stand down now due to a lack of funds with the World Championship in August. It's so utterly sad.'

Sian Stokes, from East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, said her grey Ford custom camper - which had 'literally our whole life in' - was nicked on Wednesday night

The 33-year-old said her and fiance Ian Hodgkinson, 49, feel like they 'have lost everything' and she may have to pull out of the world championships in August

The couple work as sky diving instructors and helped teach Hollywood star Cruise to jump during filming for Mission: Impossible - Impossible in 2017 (pictured together)

Ms Stokes said the van was bought for £32,000 but contained an extra £20,000 worth of equipment - including parachutes, cameras, helmets and a coffee machine.

She had been working in Manchester when it was snatched from outside her house at around 8pm - but she thinks it was a 'random' theft.

The athlete also dismissed the idea she and Mr Hodgkinson were targeted due to their fame or because the culprits knew what was in the vehicle.

She said: 'The van was not only a vehicle but we had created so many memories in this. It was a perfect second home on wheels.

'It contained many sentimental items which cannot be replaced, along with so many belongs and equipment essential for training.

'I actually put the bed down to create more storage space so everything was hidden, you couldn't see anything from looking in the window.

'So they wouldn't have known it had boxes and boxes of different things as everything was out of sight.'

She added: 'I think it's a random theft. I can't imagine knowing the person who has done this.'

Ms Stokes said the van was bought for £32,000 but contained an extra £20,000 worth of equipment - including parachutes, cameras, helmets and a coffee machine

She had been working in Manchester when it was snatched from outside her house at around 8pm - but she thinks it was a 'random' theft

The national skydiving champion, who has been jumping for 14 years since trying it to master her fear of heights, has been roaming the streets and online for clues.

But she said she has not found any similar vans for sale and noted the unique vehicle would be easy to spot.

Her neighbour's CCTV picked up two men walking towards the camper, who she believes stole it.

She said it took them eight minutes to walk down the road, get into the van and drive away with the main beam headlights on.

She added: 'I don't know if they had seen the van earlier on in the day and knew we weren't there, I don't know.'

Ms Stokes is now worried the theft will ruin her dream of becoming world champion at the next event in Russia in August.

The world number two said: 'The theft of the van and all of the belongs, including equipment, will greatly affect the amount of funds available to train as a team.

The athlete also dismissed the idea she and Mr Hodgkinson were targeted due to their fame or because the culprits knew what was in the van

Ms Stokes and Mr Hodgkinson, who have been engaged since 2009, are self funded and pay for their own training and expenses

'Not having the van will also implicate more costs of accommodation as we stay in the van whist we train.

'Losing the van, equipment and belongs may sadly bring this journey to an end after years of hard work.'

Ms Stokes and Mr Hodgkinson, who have been engaged since 2009, are self funded and pay for their own training and expenses.

They also work as sky diving instructors and helped teach Hollywood star Cruise to jump during filming for Mission: Impossible - Impossible in 2017.

Exclusive pictures for MailOnline at the time showed Ms Stokes walking through the Oxfordshire countryside with the actor.

There were rumours the pair were romantically linked, but Ms Stokes today shot that down.

She said: 'It's completely been taken out of context. We taught Tom Cruise how to skydiver - when I say we I mean myself and Ian.

'We were lucky enough to be selected to teach Tom how to skydive and I don't know really, there was lots of stuff in the news... But there was absolutely no truth in it.'

Nottinghamshire Police has been approached for comment.

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