Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Beloved Mini' stolen from Leighton Buzzard garage

Louise Palmer-Thompson on her mini Image copyright Louise Palmer-Thompson
Image caption Louise Palmer-Thompson, 47, learnt to drive in the 1971 Austin Mini

A woman is appealing for the return of her "beloved" first car after it was stolen.

Louise Palmer-Thompson's red 1971 Austin Mini, nicknamed "Plod", was taken from a locked garage in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, she said.

The "sentimental" vehicle was the car she learnt to drive in and has had for more than 30 years, as first reported in the Leighton Buzzard Observer.

She said she was trying to stay "optimistic" about having it back.

Image copyright Louise Palmer-Thompson
Image caption Louise Palmer-Thompson named the car Plod as it plodded along

The theft was discovered on 7 May, but it could have been taken several months before as she has not visited the garage for a while, the 47-year-old said.

In a effort to find the car, which she named Plod because it "plods along", she posted an appeal on Facebook, which has been shared more than 3,000 times.

She is buoyed by the support she has received.

"I want to say I am optimistic but I don't hold out much hope" she said.

"I know it's only a car, but it's beloved, sentimental, all Mini owners will understand."

She has received calls about possible sittings in Flamstead, Hertfordshire and it being taken across the Severn Bridge in Wales, on a trailer.

However, there have been no concrete leads, she said.

"All you have got to do is keep trying," she said.

Image copyright Louise Palmer-Thompson
Image caption 'Plod' was kept in a locked garage in Leighton Buzzard

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