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Thieves strip charity mini
Thieves stole a charity Mini Cooper from a garage forecourt before stripping it bare and dumping the shell of the vehicle in a field.
The car was taken from the Gem UK garage forecourt in Ferringham Lane, Ferring, sometime between 7pm on Wednesday and 7.30am on Thursday.
The firm had been holding a competition asking passers-by to guess how many balloons were in the car and donate money to St Barnabas House as part of a fundraising week.
The Mini, which had recently been restored, was found shortly afterwards in a field at Ferring Football Club where it had been stripped of parts including the leather seats, walnut dashboard, the boot lid and bonnet, all four alloy wheels and a Ventura DVD player.
Jason Howells, service manager at the garage, said: “The competition was going really well so this is a bitter disappointment.
“We were joking when we set it up that someone might nick the sign so we cable tied it down but we didn’t really expect to find the sign still there but the car missing.”
PCSO Michelle Davies said: “This has been particularly upsetting for the owners as they have not only spent a lot of money restoring the car, but it was being used for a competition to raise money for the St Barnabas charity.
“If you saw the vehicle being removed or anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Wednesday night or are aware of the parts being used or offered for sale, please call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 186 of 11/10.”