Spending spree totals £2k after Leicester car fire theft
A student says her purse was stolen and bank cards used after she ran for safety from a burning car.
Georgina Gale was a passenger in a white Mercedes that started to "smoke up" at about 15:30 BST on Thursday on Narborough Road South, Leicester,
The fashion student, from Cardiff, thought she had left her purse in the car when she realised it was missing.
Miss Gale was "gutted and distraught" to later discover almost £2,000 has been spent using her bank cards.
The 21-year-old, who was returning from a fashion event in London with three friends, told the Leicester Mercury: "I remember a warning light came on and smoke started to appear."
Miss Gale told the BBC: "We were all screaming, panicking and crying as we ran out. Luckily we got out as quickly as we did because the bottom of car was in flames after."
She said she grabbed her bag and they found help from a man passing by in his car.
"The day after, I went to the bank to take out £100, but the woman told me I didn't have enough money," Miss Gale said.
"The fraud team said my bank cards had been used after the fire at Asda, Tesco, KFC, Sports Direct and in Loughborough."
The De Montfort University student added most of the money had been reimbursed by the bank and it was investigating.
Leicestershire Police said: "We're investigating the theft of a purse from the Narborough Road South area.
"It's believed bank cards from the purse were then used to purchase items in Fosse Park.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said 90% of the car was damaged by the fire and the cause is believed to be a mechanical fault.
The road was closed in both directions while emergency services tackled the blaze.