Cruel thieves stole a car loaded up with presents from outside a Wigan house in a daring and opportunistic raid in broad daylight on Christmas Eve.
Matt Lucas, from Platt Bridge, had his company car dramatically taken from in front of his mum’s house on Neville Street after he had visited to wrap presents.
The brazen offender approached the black Ford Focus at about 2.30pm on December 24 and jumped in before driving off after getting hold of the keys.
The car was full of presents for Matt’s partner Amber Tindall and other family members and is also vital to his work running football coaching company Pro Kicks.
Matt is now desperately appealing for anyone who knows about the incident to come forward and hoping its distinctive, colourful livery will mean it is spotted.
Matt, 29, said: “You can’t miss the car because almost every panel is covered in Pro Kicks writing and PKFA, which is the name of our football academy.
“The car also had Amber’s presents in and presents for my mum and her mum too. It wasn’t exactly the Christmas we were hoping for but we got by.
“My grandad said the offender was seen driving the car in Ashton about half an hour after it happened.
“It’s going to have a real impact on my business. It means I won’t be able to get around and there were some footballs in the back so we will have to replenish our stock.
“We only had the work on the car done about six months and obviously driving around with all the writing on it is a big advertising method for us.”
Amber, 26, said the incident happened after Matt had loaded all the gifts to be unwrapped on Christmas Day into the back of the Ford Focus.
His grandad went out to the car to get something and saw the offender come up to him and take the car.
The shocking incident cast an obvious cloud over the Christmas festivities but Amber said it was something of a relief that the offender did not cause any physical injuries.
She said: “Matt’s grandad was coming back to the house when someone just jumped in the car and drove off with all the presents inside.
“It’s just lucky that no-one was hurt, I suppose. His grandad was quite badly shaken up by it and it’s shocked us all.
“You don’t expect this sort of thing to happen, especially not at this time of year.”
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed they were called to the address in Platt Bridge at around 2.45pm on December 24 following a report that a car had been stolen from outside a house.
No arrests have been made so far and enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information should call police on 101 or ring independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.