Monday, 17 January 2022

Woman left in tears after latest car break-in at hill

Woman left in tears after latest car break-in at hill

THIEVES broke into a car parked on Watlington Hill and stole cash and credit cards.

It was the latest in a series of similar incidents to happen in the area, including in the National Trust car park.

The latest theft happened at about 3.30pm on Saturday, October 30 when the side window of a woman’s Fiat 500 was smashed and the soft-top roof was slashed before her handbag was taken.

The woman, from Oxford, was found crying at the side of the road by Vikki Shofield as she was driving home to Turville Heath and stopped to help.

She said: “I noticed she was on the phone — she was crying and looked so upset. We pulled over and found out that she had had her car smashed into while she was on a walk on the hill.

“Her handbag had been stolen and she didn’t even know how to get back to Oxford. She had come to Watlington Hill for a walk to clear her head.

“We took her back to our home and gave her a cup of coffee while she called her bank to cancel her cards.

“She called police and got herself back together, then we drove her back to her car and helped tape up her window and roof so she could get home safely.” Mrs Shofield said this was not the first time she had witnessed thieves breaking into cars at Watlington Hill.

The vehicles were a prime target as walkers often left them unattended for hours.

Mrs Shofield said: “About two months ago as I was driving past and saw someone smashing the windows of cars parked in the same spot. By the time I got out of my car to take a picture, the thieves had gone.

“It’s obviously a common place for them to do it — they watch people park and know they are going for a walk so will probably be gone for hours.

“I think the council should put up big notices telling people not to park there as it is obviously a hot spot for thieves.” A National Trust spokeswoman said: “We are concerned to hear about thefts at Watlington Hill and urge people to contact the police to report any incidents.

“Our outdoors teams regularly visit the countryside car parks we look after for essential checks.

“We recommend everyone follows police advice to ensure vehicles are left with no possessions in and that they’re locked and secure.” 

Watlington Parish Council said it has received multiple reports of cars being broken into at Christmas Common, especially during the coronavirus lockdowns when more people went for walks.

It said that warning signs would be the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority.

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