London

Met Police surprise Croydon couple with new car

Linda Gibbs Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Linda Gibbs said the couple were "overwhelmed by the support and generosity"

Police officers have surprised a couple with a brand new car, weeks after their old one was stolen.

Linda and Michael Gibbs, both 73, had their beloved Austin Metro taken from outside their home in Croydon, south London, in October.

The car was found on 17 October but had to be crushed as it was badly damaged.

Met Police officers then started a collection to replace the car and presented the couple with £2,300 and a new Vauxhall Corsa on Christmas Day.

Mr and Mrs Gibbs said they were "overwhelmed" by their new car.

"You've given us our life and our freedom back," Mrs Gibbs added.

'Real lifeline'

The new car was donated "free of charge" by a West Wickham car dealership.

Det Con Helen Cooper said: "Our hearts went out to Mr and Mrs Gibbs when we saw how upset they were to lose their car.

"It was a real lifeline to them. We just had to do something to help them."

Forensics taken from the stolen vehicle led officers to identify Fabion Wilfred, of Goodenough Way, Coulsdon, south London.

On 2 December, the 19-year-old pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and he will be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on 21 January.

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