Bailiffs towed away the wrong man’s car after getting mixed up by his number plate. 

Anthony Francis’s Audi was plastered in stickers and then towed away from opposite his home in Boundary Road, Hove.

When Mr Francis tried to leave home, he found that his car was missing.

Fearing it had been stolen he called the police only to be told it had been impounded by bailiffs trying to reclaim a debt from the previous owner of his personalised number plate.

Mr Francis said: “I called the police but my car had been towed away. “They worked out that it had been impounded.

“I bought my personalised number plate from someone else and I’m guessing the debt was owed by them.

“If they had done a simple check with the DVLA they would have seen that it was not my car that they wanted.

“I spent the best part of a day trying to get the car back. “I did eventually manage to get it but I wasted almost a whole day and didn’t get so much as an apology. 

“It was extremely embarrassing having my neighbours see my car plastered in stickers and towed away. This could have been prevented if they had made a simple check.

“It was even parked on private land – you would think they would have to check with the land owner or the DVLA before removing a car in a situation like that.”

Mr Francis said that his car was seized by a debt collection agency called Ibis.

When The Argus contacted Ibis, staff directed us to Brighton and Hove City Council.

A council spokesman said that although the local authority was involved in the case he could not comment on it.