A NURSE has told of her horror after joyriders stole her car from her driveway as she got ready to leave home for a 12-hour shift on a Covid ward at Rotherham Hospital.
Amanda Lawton said she wanted to warn other potential victims of opportunist thieves following the swoop outside her home in Whiston.
It happened after Amanda’s dad, Trevor Steer, who had been de-icing the VW Golf’s windscreen, left the engine running and turned his back for a matter of seconds.
Amanda, of Grange Road, Whiston, said: “I was just shocked. I looked out of the door and it was like: 'Where has my car gone?'
“My dad had left the car literally for a minute.
“I couldn't believe it.
“It was so quick, I don’t think the thief was just walking past. I think they must have been watching, which is quite scary.
“A lot of people do it (leave their engines running) and they need to be aware this can happen.
“I feel like you need to keep an eye on your car all the time.”
Mum-of-two Amanda said her dad blamed himself for the theft at 6.35am last Wednesday but she insisted it was the thieves who should feel truly guilty.
“I said to my dad: ‘Don’t blame yourself — it could happen to anyone,’” she said.
“It’s just one of those things.
“The police came straight away and after we had told them what happened they gave me a lift to work. They were very sympathetic.”
Amanda said she understood the stolen 04 plate Golf had been spotted being “raced” against another car in Herringthorpe.
“I’ve had it years, it’s been so reliable,” she said.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and it was a hard shift but you have to get through it and keep going for the patients.”
There was some good news later for Amanda as the Golf was found in Dinnington 11 hours after it was stolen – but the amount of damage meant it had to be written off.
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Police are investigating the theft and appealed for anyone with information to contact them on 101 quoting incident number 109 of January 13.
A spokeswoman said: “We would advise people to never leave their vehicles unattended with the engine running, even if it is only for a short time.
“It only takes a few minutes for an opportunistic thief to spot the vehicle and take it.
“Always lock the vehicle and take any valuables out when it is unattended.”