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Family appealing for help locating stolen mini which they’ve owned for 43 years

PUBLISHED: 16:15 13 July 2017

The Masons with Whizbee

The Masons with Whizbee

Archant

The 1960s mini was taken from John and Patricia Mason’s garage last night, July 12

The mini has been in the family for 43 yearsThe mini has been in the family for 43 years

A family are appealing to the public for help after their mini, which they have owned for 43 years, was stolen last night.

John and Patricia Mason, both in their 80s, of Old Farm housing estate, were ‘distraught’ when they discovered that someone had taken the family car, named Whizbee, from their garage between 6pm and midnight on July 12.

Having been in the family since the 70s, the car - a 1960 mini with the number plate YVB 138 - has sentimental value.

The couple’s grandaughter, Carly Ward, said: “They have had the car for many years, and have actually known it for 52 years as a family friend used to own it. My grandpa was still driving it everyday to the family-run business in Sidcup, and over recent years has done the London to Brighton mini run. My grandmother even learnt to drive in it.

Whizbee was used to take the couple's grandaughter, Carly Ward, to her weddingWhizbee was used to take the couple's grandaughter, Carly Ward, to her wedding

“It’s especially sad as it was used as my wedding car, and my grandpa was my chauffeur. We have so many happy memories with Whizbee. When my dad, Richard, and his sister were younger my grandparents used to drive them down to Devon, and then when their grandchildren were born they always took us out in it.

“We really want our lovely car returned to the family as it’s so precious to us, it’s a family heirloom to be passed from one generation to the next. I have just had a little boy, George, who’s three-and-a-half months old, who would have eventually inherited it.

“The car’s in really good condition, and grandpa is always working on it. My grandparents are distraight as it was a targeted and organised crime. Grandpa securely locks it in his garage around the back of his house, and we’re sure someone would have to have known it was in there to steal it.”

The family are now offering a reward of £1,000 for the car’s safe return, and an extra £1,000 if the person who stole it is convicted.

Anyone who may have seen the car, or with information regarding its whereabout should call Bexley police on 101, quoting reference 3909150/17.

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