An Epsom family is praising the power of social media after it helped reunite them with their much-needed accessible car after it was cruelly stolen by thieves.

Parents-of-three Nicola and Neil Bessant woke up in the morning of January 20 to find no cars on their driveway in Burghfield, Epsom.

One, a blue Audi Q5, and the other a blue Ford Torneo custom van that had been adapted for wheelchair use for their son Harvey, 13, who is severely mentally and physically disabled.

The pair don’t usually use social media, but decided to use a Facebook fundraiser page last used five years ago for Harvey’s operations to try and get their vehicles back.

Surrey Comet: Nicola Bessant with daughters Tess and CaliNicola Bessant with daughters Tess and Cali

Nicola explained that she was told by police that sometimes stolen cars are parked in plain sight for around a week while thieves suss out whether they have trackers on them.

So, knowing the cars might be in the Worcester Park area, the Bessants used their Facebook page to see if anyone could help.

Nicola told the Surrey Comet: “My daughter’s school bag was also stolen and her stuff was found the next day scattered in Worcester Park, so we had an inkling the cars might be there too.

“We put a picture of the van and Harvey on Facebook, and wrote it as though Harvey was talking as they’d taken his specially adapted van.

Surrey Comet: Neil and HarveyNeil and Harvey

“It went absolutely mental and reached more than 220,000 people in 24 hours.”

Harvey’s disability is still undiagnosed, but he has only half of a functioning brain after the right side was disconnected in an attempt to control seizures.

There is no specific diagnosis for his “healthy” brain side which also doesn’t function as it should, but he will always need 24 hour care.

Harvey can’t sit unaided, can’t speak, and is fed through a tube – but according to Nicola he’s happy, smiley, chilled and relaxed.

Surrey Comet: Nicola and HarveyNicola and Harvey

Nicola said: “On the Sunday after the theft, a lady messaged me off the back of our Facebook post and said she had found our van in Worcester Park.

“I couldn’t believe it.

“We recorded a thank you from Harvey using his switch to put on the Facebook page, and then the next minute he was on GMTV and the local BBC news.

“At this point we thought the Audi was history – but the next day on the Monday the police came round and said they’d found it.

“It’s had to be forensically examined and we don’t know what state is in but social media came up trumps and so did the police.

“The bad people have lost their vehicles – which is fantastic.

“I’m usually very sceptical of social media but it does have its uses and everyone was so lovely.

“I can’t sing the police’s praises enough – they’ve been fantastic, and we had good results all in less than a week.

“It’s been up and down emotionally, and it’s normally all doom and gloom – but this has been amazing.”

A spokesperson for Surrey Police said "at this stage enquiries remain ongoing".