Car thieves branded ‘low life scumbags’

The Toyota , stolen in Bridgend was later set on fire in Upper Bennett Street. Pic courtesy of Anne McGrotty.
The Toyota , stolen in Bridgend was later set on fire in Upper Bennett Street. Pic courtesy of Anne McGrotty.

Car thieves who struck a PSNI officer during a pursuit through Derry have been branded ‘low life scumbags’ by the vehicle’s owner.

The woman, who does not wish to be named yesterday told the ‘Journal’. she has been left “totally traumatised” after the thieves broke into and ransacked her Bridgend home, before stealing the car and going on the rampage through Derry.

The couple were not at home at the time.

In the early hours of Sunday morning the car - a Toyota Celica - rammed a PSNI car and drove over an officer’s foot as police tried to apprehend the two thieves in Caw Hill Park.

It is also understood the car was involved in collisions with other vehicles in Newbuildings.

The car was later burned out in Upper Bennett Street

The car’s owner said she wanted to speak out to “show these people up for what they are.”

“They are complete low life scumbags with no respect for anyone or their property.

“I work hard for a living and this wee car was my pride and joy.

“You think you can go away for the night and leave your home safe and secure.

“The last thing we were expecting was the call we got in the middle of the night to tell us what had happened.

“They completely ransacked our house, they knew what they were doing and walked past other cars to get into our house and get the keys.

“These people don’t think about what they are doing, the carnage that they leave behind.”

She said she was thankful the PSNI officer was not seriously hurt and appealed for anyone with information to help catch the thieves.

“It could have been much worse for that PSNI officer.

“We really hope anyone with information will come forward and help get these people off the streets.

“No one should have to go through what we have had to,” she said.

“The worst thing about it all is that we feel like our privacy has been completely invaded and we can’t even feel comfortable in our own home.”

She said both she and her husband have been forced to take time off work to deal with the aftermath of the theft.

“We just don’t know what else they took from our house, they have left us both in a total state of trauma,” she said.

Police said the car was reported stolen shortly after midnight on Saturday.

A PSNI spokesman said the car was spotted by officers in the Caw Hill Park area of Derry shortly before 4am on Sunday.

“The car was reversed into a police car, causing damage to the front grille. When officers approached, the car was driven at them and it drove over an officer’s foot.”

The spokesman said the officer “was not injured”. The Toyota then drove off towards Limavady Road.

Anyone with information is asked to call the PSNI on 0845 600 8000 and ask for police at Strand Road.

Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.