‘Christmas cancelled’ after thieves break into car in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:47 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:33 05 December 2017

Manor Road Car Park

Manor Road Car Park

Archant

A Sidmouth dad hopes he can be reunited with irreplaceable family photos after thieves broke into his car and stole his wallet and house keys.

Paul Couldwell said ‘Christmas is cancelled’ after he paid out £600 to change the locks in the middle of the night on Saturday (December 2) to keep his family safe.

The crooks bought a takeaway on his contactless debit card before he could cancel it and he hopes the police can use fingerprints on the receipt or CCTV to catch them.

Mr Couldwell, whose car was parked in the Manor Road car park, said: “There were pictures in my wallet that aren’t backed up, of my little boy and my wife when we first got together. I had a letter from our first Christmas together. They’re valuable things. I have already resigned myself that they have been dumped but if they were found would be great to have them back.”

Mr Couldwell went to his car at 9.45pm on Saturday and saw his house keys and wallet were missing, but initially thought he had left them behind. When he realised that was wrong – and that the thieves could learn his address from his driving licence – he left work and rushed home to his wife and sons, aged three and 14.

“I didn’t know what time my keys were stolen or if someone could have got in,” added Mr Couldwell. “My wife was sleeping but my eldest son was still awake.

“Hopefully the insurance will cover it but we had to pay £600 for the locks. It’s cancelled our Christmas. We were going to buy presents on Wednesday. It’s the only time before payday we can go together. It’s put a big dampener on it.

“You don’t expect it in Sidmouth. It’s one of the safest places around.”

He checked his bank account and found the thieves had made transactions totalling more than £50. One was for a takeaway – where staff remember five youths asking for a receipt and then throwing it on the floor.

He added: “Police are dealing with now. They’ll have the CCTV by the end of the week and fingerprints from the receipt.”

Mr Couldwell believes the break-in took place between 7pm and 10pm. He hopes his black Armani wallet has been dumped somewhere and that someone has found it.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101 and quote crime reference CR/104838/17.

Email stephen.sumner@archant.co.uk if you have found the wallet.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

Take a peek at the brilliant pictures our readers have been sharing for our birds photo challenge.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:30

Final concert at Kennaway House as Jazz in the Afternoon moves to a new venue

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Hundreds of pounds have been donated towards a charity dedicated to protecting the town’s beloved trees.

Read more
Fri, 18:30

Displays inspired by traditional gifts such as shells, cotton, and precious stones

Read more
Fri, 18:00

Residents at a Sidmouth care home were thrilled to explore a newly-opened sensory garden.

Read more
Fri, 16:06

An independent candidate and Ottery Town Councillor has triumphed at the by-election held for the Ottery St Mary Rural Ward.

Read more
Fri, 15:21

Beach management plan stakeholders say they have been left ‘encouraged’ following a visit by a government minister to discuss proposals to protect Sidmouth from coastal erosion and flooding.

Read more
Fri, 14:45

Officers confiscated alcohol at Seaton and Colyford, and will do the same when the carnival comes to Sidmouth

Read more
Fri, 10:00

Ottery’s roads have been left bottle-necked and ‘chaotic’ in the wake of a major fire that caused severe damage to a number of properties and shops in the town centre.

Read more
Fri, 07:00

There are urgent calls for a long-term youth mental health programme to provide preventative action and ongoing support

Read more

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sidmouth Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Show Job Lists


Find planning applications