A Church Gresley couple have been left devastated after their £23,000 Audi was stolen from their drive overnight just a month after buying the car of their dreams.
Darren Allsopp, 30, had dreamt of owning an Audi S4 ever since he was a young boy, and in February that became a reality.
The dad-of-four finally got the set of keys for the £23,000 car, but last night it was cruelly taken away from him.
Darren, who works as a mobile caterer, said: "Last night I looked out of the window, because I heard a car that sounded a lot like mine. The engine has a very nice sound, so I know it is mine.
"I had a look out of the window, but everything looked normal.
"I heard the noise again in the early hours of the morning, which was bizarre. I think the second time I heard the noise it was my car being taken off my drive.
"I don't know how they have done it, because you have to use the key to start the car."
Darren and his wife, Victoria, have put out a plea on social media, which has been shared more than 300 times. They have asked members of the public to keep their eyes out for the grey Audi S4, with the personalised number plate S4 DMA.
Darren says it was always his dream to own an Audi RS4, but he settled for the S4, which is cheaper to maintain.
"I'm absolutely gutted. It's my pride and joy.
"All my life I have wanted an RS4 - ever since I was little. The RS4 is a very expensive car to maintain and keep. The S4 is very similar, but a lot easier to maintain.
"I finally got the keys in February, and I'm just gutted it's gone."
The keys for the car were still inside the house when it was stolen, and detectives have been left scratching their heads over how it was stolen.
A spokesman for Derbyshire police said: "Between 10.30pm on Sunday, March 18, and 5.10am on Monday, March 19, a car was stolen from outside a house on Gresley Wood Road.
"The grey Audi S4 was stolen without the keys but we do not have any more information on how this was done at the moment.
"Our officers are currently investigating the incident."
Anyone with information on the car theft is urged to get in touch with Derbyshire police by calling non-emergency number 101 and quoting crime reference number 18000124567.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
How to keep your car safe
Whatcar has issued advice on how car owners can keep their vehicles safe from thieves.
The advice issued includes:
- Check for recalls. It is important to be aware of any recalls that are outstanding for your car. Manufacturers want the software on their cars to be up to date to stop them from being stolen. Software updates can usually be performed by a local car dealership or even over the internet.
- Keep keys safe at home. When it comes to deterring the most sophisticated thieves, the police warn against leaving car keys in hallways or near to the front door, where access codes could be captured. Putting keys in a metal box is another way to keep them safe.
- Lock the doors manually. You can stop thieves from cloning a key's wireless signal by locking car doors manually with the key.
- Get a tracker. If you own a valuable car, you might want to invest in a car tracker that will alert you if someone tries to move it. The tracker's combination of GPS and radio signals let you know your car's exact location at all times, so you'll know if it's being driven by someone else, and if it's stolen the police can recover it from thieves.
- Fit a steering lock. A steering wheel lock is an old-fashioned solution, and although it won't provide 100 per cent protection, it will put off opportunist thieves and slow down anyone attempting to steal your car.
- Be careful with keys. Never leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition and never leave it with the engine running. It sounds obvious, but it can be tempting to leave the keys in your car while you pay for petrol or to leave it unlocked with the engine running on your drive while the windows are demisting.
- Park in a secure place. Keeping your car in a locked garage not only means that it is out of sight, but also adds an extra layer of complexity which thieves need to overcome before being able to drive off.
- Hide valuables. Do not leave anything of value in your car. Keep your car tidy and make sure you take valuables and items with personal information with you when you leave the car to make the vehicle as unappealing as possible to opportunistic thieves.