A WORTHING carer has spoken of his heartbreak after thieves stole a car bought as a present from his late mother and set it on fire.
Arthur Dann says he has been left devastated after his property in West Avenue, Worthing, was broken into on June 5.
He and wife Ann were in bed asleep when thieves broke in and stole car keys before taking the vehicle.
Ena Dann, 79, had saved up £4,500 from her pension money in order to buy the vehicle for her son.
The 50-year-old, who cares for his disabled wife, said: “My mum saved up to buy me the car but became quite ill and was taken into hospital, where she died on May 1.
“We had only just had the funeral when our house was broken into. They stole my car keys but nothing else, then took the car and set fire to it.
“I feel that it is so important to get the message across that you should never leave your car keys lying around, nor leave them attached to your house keys.
“The car was not worth much but had huge sentimental value. It was my last memory of my mum and we had only just had the cremation.
“I have not even had a chance to grieve. This is just the worst thing that could have happened.
“What has upset me the most is the fact that they burnt it out. Why could they not have just dumped the car?
“I am a nervous wreck at the moment. My mum was my best friend and she had bought the car for me because I was her carer and she thought it would make life easier to have a little runaround that I could use.
“I would take her shopping or to the seafront or even just for a meal. She lived in Littlehampton so I would be there a few times a week.
“What hurts is that it had taken her years to save up for the car. She really wanted me to have it and we both loved it.
“When I went to see the burnt out car I was really upset because I kept thinking of my mum sitting in it.
“There was also an angel hanging from the rear-view mirror that Mum had bought me which said ‘Never drive faster than your angels can fly’ and knowing that was gone, too, just added to the pain.
“Now it is like my mum has been taken away from me completely.”
Mrs Dann said: “There is so much going on at the moment, this could not have come at a worse time.
“It is not just a car these people are wrecking, it is people’s lives, too.”