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Police are making a fresh appeal for a possible extra witness to the circumstances leading up to the theft of a high-powered car in Waterlooville.
A silver Mitsubishi Lancer Evo was reported stolen shortly before 5pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012 from the roundabout at the junctions of Stakes Hill Road and Frendstaple Road.
Police are also a releasing photograph of the recovered Mitsubishi to help jog the memory of this witness, plus other people who may have seen the theft and the events that followed.
A 24-year-old woman from Hampshire was driving the silver Mitsubishi Lancer Evo with her five-year-old son on the back seat. A silver BMW car carrying two men she did not know collided with the rear of her Mitsubishi at the roundabout.
Both drivers pulled over, left their cars, and became involved in a disagreement over the damage caused by the collision. During the argument, it’s alleged one of the men from the BMW stole the Mitsubishi while the boy was still in the car. The other man returned to the BMW and drove away behind the Mitsubishi. The woman was not assaulted or injured.
The silver Mitsubishi Lancer Evo was found abandoned a few minutes later outside the entrance to a school in Stakes Hill Road. The boy remained inside. He was not injured. No items were reported stolen from the Mitsubishi.
Detective Chief Inspector Wendy Priston said: “Police wish to continue reassuring the community that we have received no similar reports recently, and this crime is still being treated as an isolated case. A dedicated team of officers are pursuing many lines of enquiry to identify those responsible for this serious crime.
“A potential new lead is information received about a woman driving a blue vehicle along Frendstaple Road behind the victim’s Mitsubishi shortly before the suspects’ BMW was seen. This woman is not suspected of any crimes, but we believe she could be an important witness to the events surrounding the theft of the Mitsubishi. No further details about her or the vehicle are known at this time. We are appealing for this woman or anyone who thinks they know her to get in touch with the police.
“We're also now able to release a photograph of the silver Mitsubishi Lancer Evo that was stolen and found abandoned. I’m asking members of the public who were in the area of Frendstaple Road and Stakes Hill Road at around 5pm on Thursday (February 16) to look at this photo and contact the police if they remember seeing this car. The Mitsubishi is still being examined for possible forensic evidence by specialist scenes-of-crime officers, who took this picture."
Detectives continue to circulate descriptions of the two men from the BMW.
The first suspect was described as:
> Aged in his early 20s
> 5 ft 6 ins to 5 ft 7 ins tall
> Short dark hair
> Wearing a light coloured top and dark trousers
The second suspect was described as:
> Aged early 20s
> 5 ft 6 ins tall
> Medium build
> Short dark hair
> Wearing a dark hooded top and dark bottoms
The 24-year-old woman provided a written statement on Friday, February 17, 2012:
“Until this happened yesterday had been a very normal day; I had just been to Asda in Waterlooville and was on my way home when another vehicle collided with the rear of my car. As I imagine anyone would do I got out of the car to speak to the other driver, it never crossed my mind that while I was doing this my car would be driven away. When this happened my first thought was for my son who was still in the vehicle; I just panicked and tried to get help. Thankfully another driver stopped to help me and I thank him so much for this. The relief of finding that the car had been abandoned with my son inside was indescribable. It was an amazingly traumatic incident. I really hope now police can find those responsible for this and would ask anyone who may be able to help identify those involved to please contact the police.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Priority Crime Team at Waterlooville police station by phoning 101 and quoting Operation Clipper. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.