Ripon hit by spate of bizarre car bonnet thefts

Stripped: Emma's car. One of a number of bizarre car bonnet thefts in Ripon.
Stripped: Emma's car. One of a number of bizarre car bonnet thefts in Ripon.

Ripon has been hit with a spate of bizarre car bonnet thefts, triggering alarm and shock across the city.

Police have urged residents to be vigilant as their investigations continue, and many of those affected have taken to social media to share photographs of their stripped vehicles, including Emma Pemberton, 22.

Emma was visiting her boyfriend at his home near Ripon Spa Baths when she discovered her wrecked Vauxhall Corsa on Sunday morning, April 2, that she had parked outside.

Can you assist police with their investigations?

Can you assist police with their investigations?

The passenger window had been smashed to release the bonnet, and the bumper, grill, front headlights and number plate had all been taken.

Emma said: "I was in shock, I rushed inside and told my boyfriend to look at it. I just sat on the kitchen floor crying my eyes out. It's just the last thing you need.

"People work very hard to have their cars, and this is just awful. At first I thought it had been vandalised, but when the mechanic looked at it he said it looked like a professional job. Whoever it was had obviously done it before and knew what they were doing.

"What's worrying is that it was really quiet during the night, we didn't hear anything. There was no alarm, nothing. I think parts are being stolen to order - they are very expensive.

Police are urging anyone with information to come forward.

Police are urging anyone with information to come forward.

"I lived in a city for three years at university and nothing ever happened like this. You just don't expect it. If anyone saw something, or knows anything at all that could help, it could really make a difference. If anyone has any CCTV on their house that could show anything, get in touch."

Pearl Barnstaple, 25, was mortified when she woke up on April 2 to find that her parents' Corsa SRi had been stripped of its parts.

Parked on a street near Hugh Ripley Hall, Pearl said the car theft must be the work of discreet and organised criminals, as she unsuspectingly slept through the night.

With the stolen parts including lights, wheel arches, the spoiler and grill, Pearl and her family fear there is nothing to stop thieves striking again once the urgent repairs have been made

The stripped Corsa SRi was discovered by Pearl's father at 6:30am on April 2.

The stripped Corsa SRi was discovered by Pearl's father at 6:30am on April 2.

Pearl said: "It's horrible that people would do this. A lot of cars aren't bought outright because of the cost of them. So a lot of work and time has gone into paying for cars.

"I am shocked it's happened in Ripon, but at the same time things can happen anywhere. The question is, when the car is repaired, what's to stop then doing it again?

"It's horrendous, luckily I got a job back in Ripon so I do have a car that I can lend my mum, but a lot of people need cars to commute or get kids to school. The people who are doing it are organised criminals and it's not right. The police have been fantastic, but it's a violation robbing a car. Whoever's doing this is either very desperate to do this to people, or just selfish and wanting to make a profit.

"I would just say to people, if they know anything come forward. It's a small city so it would be nice to think that people would."

Pearl Barnstaple's parents' car.

Pearl Barnstaple's parents' car.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "Police are investigating a number of thefts of vehicle parts from parked cars in Ripon, including bumpers, lights and spoilers. Enquiries into the incidents are ongoing. Motorists are asked to be vigilant, and, if possible, park their vehicles in a secure or well-lit location."

Anyone with information should North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number 12170055369.