A father-of-two says his family have been left ‘scared to death’ after two brazen thugs tried to steal his wife’s car from their family home.
Darren Driver, 47, was sat in his home on Hallbottom Street, in Newton, on Friday evening, October 22, as wife Heather headed out to pick up their 18-year-old son Jacob from work.
When the 43-year-old opened the door, she saw two men around her Fiat 500, and screamed for her husband’s help.
Darren rushed to grab his trusty ‘tree lopper’ to defend himself, and headed outside to try and scare the pair off.
He said: ‘It was just a normal Friday night, my wife went to the chippy for tea and my daughter Grace, she’s 14, was upstairs watching something.
‘My son gives his mum a ring at about 9.40pm to pick him up from work so she gets her keys, opens the front door to the porch and sees two fellas around her car.
‘They’re yelling at her ‘stay in the house, we just want the car’ so I grabbed my tree lopper to defend myself – the end fell off so it was just basically a big stick – and they ran off.
Heather Driver opened her door, preparing to pick up her 18-year-old son from work on October 22, when she was presented with two car jackers trying to break into her Fiat 500 on Hallbottom Street, in Newton
Father-of-two Darren Driver, 47 (pictured), scared off the two men, emerging from his house with a tree lopper in hand, which he waved at the intruders
‘Then they came back to try and get the OBD reader from the front seat and smashed the front window.’
Fortunately, one of Darren’s neighbours came out at this point, and was able to help him chase the pair off for good – but the family were left shaken and worried that the crooks might try to come back later that evening.
Despite the damage, the family were able to take the Fiat to a relative’s house and store it in their garage for safekeeping until it can be repaired.
Although the family had their house burgled around six years ago, this is the first time they’ve ever experienced car crime after living in the area for over 15 years.
Darren said: ‘We’ve never had anything, not a smashed window, or a scrape, nothing.
‘It’s just scary, they don’t give a damn, it’s not their property so they don’t care.
‘It was a bit of an ordeal, it’s not something you’d expect at 9.45 on a Friday, people are still coming back from work or heading out for food, if it was the early hours of the morning they would have been able to come and go without being spotted.
‘If they’d had 30 seconds longer they would have just driven the car away.
‘It’s one of those that gives you the fear of retribution more than anything, my daughter’s frightened to death, my wife’s frightened to death. It’s just dealing with the aftermath now.’
When Darren went to get his ‘tree lopper’, he was able to scare away the pair from the car.
The Driver family say they no longer feel safe at home, following the attempted theft of Grace’s Fiat 500 from the driveway
He thought that would bring an end to the ordeal, but the criminals got into a car and reversed it down the road, allegedly nearly hitting him, before getting out to try again.
On the third attempt, one of the men smashed the car’s window, reaching for something inside, but with the help of his neighbour Darren was able to chase the pair away empty handed.
Although nothing was taken, and no one was injured, the family were still left shaken by the violence and the audacity of the crime.
Darren added: ‘The violence of it is absurd, they were so brazen – normally if you disturb a thief they’ll run away but to come back twice after you’ve been disturbed by a pretty big guy with a big stick, that shows some brass that.
‘They said ‘we just want the car’ but it’s not your car, what gives you the right to take it?
‘It’s my wife’s pride and joy, we wash it every weekend and she loves it – it’s so so frustrating.
‘Luckily I was there but if my wife was on her own that car would be gone and all we’d be able to do is go out searching for it.’
Greater Manchester Police have been approached for comment.