Wave of car thefts blights borough

Masked robbers crowbar their way into John Clees home in Ashton in late May
Masked robbers crowbar their way into John Clees home in Ashton in late May

A suspected new crimewave of sports car thefts appears to have plagued Wiganers.

Several borough residents have had their expensive high-powered vehicles stolen, with three thefts of the same model of car in as many weeks being reported in almost-identical circumstances.

The police have told me it’s happening all over the place

Anthony Cartwright

Several victims have reached out to the Post after balaclava-clad thieves broke into the home of John and Laura Clee and made off with their £29,000 blue Honda Civic Type R.

The masked robbers armed with crowbars smashed their way through the conservatory of their Ashton property before stealing the keys to the car, and keys to two more family vehicles including a Mini Cooper and BMW motorbike, although neither vehicles were taken.

The crooks, however, left behind many more high-end items such as an expensive TV and computer, leading John and Laura to believe that they were the victims of a sophisticated stolen-to-order operation.

Anthony Cartwright owned an identical model to John and Laura’s until it was stolen in the early hours of June 2.

In eerily similar scenes, thieves smashed through Anthony’s front door at around 2.30am, but only took the keys to the car which he had purchased in August 2016.

Anthony later found his car after it was abandoned nearby. He was contacted by John Clee, who had initially found it and assumed it to be his own identical vehicle that had been taken on May 30.

And although angered by his pride and joy being stolen, the invasion of his privacy has left him more shaken.

The 33-year-old from Lowton said: “It’s left my girlfriend devastated, she’s heartbroken. I’m not eating or sleeping very well either.

“The police have told me it’s happening all over the place. It’s crazy.”

Another man, Carl Knight, had his Type R stolen from his Gathurst home on May 9. He is also yet to hear any news on the fate of his car.

Lisa Munro had her car stolen on May 30, the same night as the terrifying break-in at John Clee’s home.

Lisa from Hindley had her house ransacked by burglars whilst she was on holiday. They smashed their way into her home in search of the keys to her Volkswagen Golf GTD - a sports car valued at around £26,000.

The white Golf has also not been traced yet, but Lisa said that possessions that were in her car had been found strewn across the street in the direction of Hindley town centre.