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TV contestant’s horror as would-be thief smashes car into house

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 23, 2014

  • 22/05/14 Attempted theft of car in Bretby Lane Thieves that tried to steal car, but reversed it into house....Michelle Benfield..

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A SOUTH Derbyshire mum has spoken of her shock after a would-be thief attempted to steal her car – but instead reversed it into her house.

Michelle Benfield was with her husband Matt in Stoke-on-Trent when she received a call to say somebody had tried to take her Mercedes SLK from the family’s home in Bretby Lane, Bretby.

The couple were at the home of another contestant after applying to go on the reality TV show ‘Come Dine With Me’. The 43-year-old beauty therapist said it wasn’t until the producers called a screen break that she found out the news.

She told the Mail: “It was just my two sons, Alex who is 18, and Thomas who is 13, in the house. They were both in their bedrooms when they heard a loud bang downstairs. They went running down and saw the car had crashed into the living room window.

“Alex went outside and saw a man dressed all in black running off. They called 999 and had to sit in the police car while a structural engineer looked at the damage.”

Mrs Benfield said she thought that the person who had attempted to take the car did not know how to drive an automatic, which is why it crashed through the window. She explained: “I don’t think they knew how to put it in drive and just tried to floor it.

“They must have set out to steal the car because they’ve ripped out the CCTV cameras we installed and just tried the front door. They took the keys, but that was it. The CCTV usually backs up onto my husband’s computer but unfortunately the hard drive was full.”

She said that Alex tried to drive the car out himself, but was unable to. A fire crew was later called and winched the car out. Michelle added: “When I heard what had happened, I just wanted to get home, I was horrified. We didn’t get back until 1.30am and had to wait up until 5.30 before someone could come out and board up the window.

“I was in bits. The producers did bring me flowers to say thanks for carrying on with the filming.” Anyone with information is asked to contact police on the non-emergency 101 number.

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