A business owner says she would be “super happy” to be reunited with her coffee-selling tuk tuk after it was snatched by thieves.

Em Herriott, who runs We Are Here, a coffee cart based in Leyton, normally serves drinks to commuters from her auto rickshaw, affectional known as Fred.

However, the 31-year-old was devastated when she discovered Fred had been taken from outside her home in Leslie Road at some time in the early hours of Tuesday morning (October 10).

She said: “I had to leave early in the morning for a job and I noticed Fred was not there anymore.

“There wasn’t any smashed glass on the floor to show he had been broken into so I think people just wheeled him into the back of a van.

“He was just outside my house so I half expected something might happen to him on day, but I never expected anyone would actually steal him.

“It is such a niche thing to take, the only thing I can think of is that it is a contract theft because someone wants to set up their own café.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Custom-made tuk tuk Fred was taken overnight on Monday

We Are Here launched in 2015 after a year-long process to import Fred from India and convert him into a portable coffee cart.

The company has set out stall in various locations across London, but was regularly seen serving up drinks to commuters next to the cab rank at Leyton station.

Ms Herriott had only moved Fred to a pop-up coffee shop at Bike Shack, in Ruckholt Road, a fortnight before he was stolen.

She added: “A lot of people in Leyton know the business and they look out for Fred, so it is difficult to know who would want to take him.

“The phone has been ringing all day, people social media and other local businesses have been so supportive, it is nice to see how much everyone has fallen in love with Fred.

“But my intention is to get going again as soon as possible and figure out what changes we need to make to the business without Fred.

“I would be super happy if we could get him back, it would be great if we did not have to worry about this and everything could just go back to normal.”

Met Police said they were called to Leslie Road on Tuesday morning after reports a vehicle had been stolen at some point overnight.

  • Anyone with information on Fred’s whereabouts is asked to call officers on 101.