Hadleigh couple’s plight goes viral after Fiat and rare BMW stolen just metres from them
PUBLISHED: 15:07 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:58 25 July 2017
A Hadleigh couple who had both their cars stolen during a burglary while they slept just metres from the intruders have said they have been “overwhelmed” after their plight was shared more than 10,000 times on social media.
Adam Gooderham and Megan Richards, both 25, had returned to their home in Matilda Groome Road on Sunday evening after a weekend away in Yeovil.
Tired from their long journey, the couple fell asleep on their sofa that night, but were stunned to wake up the next morning to find both sets of car keys, which had been hanging on a rail in the hallway, and both of their cars gone.
Locksmiths replacing the locks with stronger devices reported that the mechanism on their rented property was one which was easy to pick.
With Adam’s car being an unusual model – an orange two-litre BMW 1 Series M-Sport – they believe it was a targeted burglary which has left them shaken.
“I was absolutely balling my eyes out,” said Miss Richards.
“It was the fact that someone had been in our house while we slept – they probably saw us sleeping there we were so near.
“Because Adam’s car is worth a lot and a specific model it makes you think people have been watching.”
Mr Gooderham added: “That’s the bit that leaves you scared – the fact I don’t really think it was just a drive-past job, that it was targeted.”
Police believe it was stolen at some point between 11.10pm on Sunday and 7.30am the following morning.
The couple launched an appeal on Facebook with a picture of Miss Richards’ white Fiat 500 alongside the BMW, and after more than 10,000 shares in 24 hours say they have been overwhelmed by the support.
“We live in a world where everyone says people are bad but something like this where 10,000 people shared it, you feel like there are so many people out there looking out for everyone,” Miss Richards said.
Suffolk police have confirmed they are investigating, and have asked anyone who has seen either vehicle to contact them.
A spokeswoman added: “The stolen cars are an orange BMW 1 Series Sport, registration EN65 EEU, and a white Fiat 500, registration AV66 PHK.
“Police are also urging residents to keep car keys hidden and out of sight to minimise the risk of being a victim of car key burglary.”
Anyone who has seen either car with those registration numbers or has any information which can help police should call officers on 101.
While Mr Gooderham’s BMW did not have an optional tracker fitted, a spokesman from BMW said there are methods police can use to help track down a car.
The cars have an in-built navigation system which can be used, although is less reliable than a dedicated vehicle tracker.
However, BMW says it cannot intervene directly and must be contacted by police as part of their investigation.
The spokesman said: “We sympathise with the owner – having your car stolen can be very distressing and, at the very least, inconvenient.
“The police may use the in-built navigation system in order to attempt to locate the vehicle.
“However, it’s important to note that this process is wholly managed by the police themselves – it is at their discretion whether to follow this process as BMW UK cannot assist directly.
“In all instances we recommend that the customer contacts their local police and insurance provider to manage efforts to locate the vehicle.”