‘This was our baptism back into Derry’

A Derry man whose family’s car was stolen from outside their home and later set on fire has urged local people to be vigilant.

Kevin Doherty from Lenamore Park - who had recently returned with his family to live in Derry after being away for over 20 years - has since reviewed camera footage from his front door which shows the hooded culprits trying to break into another of their cars before gaining access to a second vehicle.

The car which was stolen from Lenamore Park last week and which was later found burned out.

The car which was stolen from Lenamore Park last week and which was later found burned out.

The family’s red Ford Focus car was stolen at 12.15am on Monday December 4 and was burned out a short distance away in Galliagh shortly afterwards.

The incident on Monday morning, December 4, was one of a number of similar joyriding episodes across the wider Greater Shantallow area over recent months.

Mr Doherty last week distributed leaflets among his neighbours telling them about the incident, and appealing for anyone with information or additional camera footage to get in touch.

“We had hoped there was some CCTV that may have been able to track these people’s movements,” he said. “It was more a case of making people aware these kinds of things are happening.

The culprits caught on camera trying to gain access to a car before stealing a second vehicle.

The culprits caught on camera trying to gain access to a car before stealing a second vehicle.

“We know it was taken at 12.15am and the car was on fire by 1.30am. They were in it for an hour before they burned it, very, very close to where they took it from.

“I am from Derry but I have living away for many years. We have been back since August. This was our baptism back into Derry.”

Mr Doherty said that what made the crime worse was that they would be out of pocket as a result of the car loss, and the fact that they now have to replace three children’s car seats which were in the car when it was stolen. “The seats are about £300. It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth,” he said.

Mr Doherty was also due to travel to London via Belfast on the morning the car was stolen and had to cancel his flight and car hire in London as a result of the incident.

“I’ll be buying a few more cameras now that is for certain,” he said, adding: “Somebody knows who it is. You don’t randomly walk down a street and decide you are going to nick a car. It’s something you have done before.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Strand Road station on 101. The crime number is CC2017120400199.