CHRISTMAS has been ruined for one family after a thief leapt into their two-week old car and drove off with the children’s Christmas presents still inside.

Claire Putt had stepped away from her black Vauxhall Antara SE for a ‘few seconds’ to collect the de-icing equipment from the front door when from the corner of her eye she saw a man in a blue hoodie jump into the driver’s seat and speed off through the village.

The 34-year-old was on the driveway of her parent’s home in Great Milton at about 9am when the thief stole not only her £8,800 car but her children’s Christmas presents, including an Xbox, on Monday morning.

The carer said: “It has ruined Christmas for us.

“My dad had been outside about ten minutes before I was de-icing his car and had left all the gear and the scraper by the front door for me to then use.

“I must have walked less than a metre from my car, leaving it for literally a few seconds to pick up the scraper and this man just jumped in and drove off.

“It’s a miracle no one was hurt because the windscreen was completely iced over, he would not have been able to see a thing.”

Miss Putt said she immediately called police as she watched the man race ‘at ridiculous speeds’ through the village and out of sight.

She added: “As I am temporarily staying at my parents space is limited so I wanted the children’s presents to be a secret, which is why they were in the car.”

But not only has the theft left her children Dexter, six, and Taya, five, without a gift under the tree this year, it has also jeopardised Miss Putt’s new job as a carer.

She added: “I literally just started working as a carer a month ago and the reason I bought the car was to help me with my job.

“Although the company I work for have been understanding, I can’t earn any money if I’m not seeing clients.

“I feel extremely sorry for my clients because now they are having to have someone new come into their homes and I was just starting to build relationships and trust with them.

“It is a nightmare.”

With temperatures at around -4 on Monday morning, Miss Putt is worried that the cold weather could mean similar thefts will happen across the county.

She added: “I just do not want this to happen to someone else.

“It is just before Christmas and it is the last thing that anybody needs to deal with.

“It is really scary that this person was just waiting for the right opportunity especially at my parents home when they themselves are elderly.

“Although my dad has kindly allowed me to borrow his van in the meantime I can only use it during the evenings as he is at work himself.

“This is not the Christmas we were hoping for.”

On Monday another car was stolen in Marston after a couple left it unattended for two minutes to de-ice.

Police are investigating the incident and urged anyone with details to contact 101.

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