AN 82-year-old fast car fan now has to drive something slower after he was targeted by thieves.
Denis Riley’s prized Vauxhall Astra VXR ‘hot hatch’ was stolen in a ‘Hanoi burglary’ after raiders smashed their way into his home and stole the keys.
Denis slept through the incident and woke to find his front door had been broken in.
The upset pensioner said the burglars must have been watching him as his £17,500 car was not stored at his Newsome home but at a garage lock-up nearby.
And he was further distressed that the bungling raiders had managed to crash the premium car into his garage despite having the keys.
Mr Riley said he thought the thieves may have put the car into first instead of reverse and smashed it into the concrete garage wall.
The heartless thieves also stole £30 from his sideboard and threw a matchstick model of the Taj Mahal stored in the vehicle that he had spent 12 months making, into a skip.
He said: “I was upset, you’re bound to be.
“People have no respect for anything these days – it’s a common thing.
“How do people sleep at night or – sorry during the day – as they are too busy stealing at night.”
Mr Riley has now had to fork out more than £2,500 for repairs to his home and garage and was only given £12,000 by insurers for his stolen car.
But the ‘petrolhead’ pensioner who has owned a 3 litre Ford Capri, an 2.2 litre Astra SRI, a Lotus Cortina M1, a Ford Sierra XR4 and a Mitsubishi Starion turbo, said the unpleasant incident would not stop him driving.
He added: “I was going to get another VXR but I don’t fancy paying all that insurance.
“It would’ve been over £2,000 for the insurance and £750 excess.
“I’ve had to downgrade. If you’ve been used to driving fast cars all your life you don’t want to.”
Police later found the wrecked vehicle without its wheels, engine or trim along with 19 other vehicles.
Two men have been arrested and are currently on police bail.
Mr Riley said he was thankful to the police for their hard work investigating the matter.