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London Fields man pleads for return of stolen vintage car

PUBLISHED: 14:38 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:15 08 August 2019

Missing classic Citroen. Picture: Eoin Billings

Missing classic Citroen. Picture: Eoin Billings

Archant

A family's cherished vintage car that survived the war was stolen in the early hours of Monday morning near Broadway Market.

Missing classic Citroen. Picture: Eoin BillingsMissing classic Citroen. Picture: Eoin Billings

The 1946 Citroën, which is something of a "celebrity" in the area, was stolen by four bumbling thieves outside Eoin Billings' home in Andrews Road at about 3am.

The thieves tried to steal a neighbour's Land Rover with a white tow truck but when they were unsuccessful they moved to the classic motor.

Eoin said: "The irony is they tried to take a Land Rover and instead they stole something they can't sell."

The car has been with the family for two generations and Eoin's two children Ila, nine, and Teja, six, were so upset they burst into tears when they realised it had been stolen.

Still from CCTV footage showing thieves attempting to steal neighbour's Land Rover.Still from CCTV footage showing thieves attempting to steal neighbour's Land Rover.

He added: "The car was like a family pet to them. I just want my car back, they can drop it back tomorrow for all I care."

Eoin obtained CCTV footage of the robbery that involved four people with a white Iveco Daily recovery truck and a Ford Fiesta Zetec Turbo.

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The car was made by the French manufacturer before the war but it sat in the warehouse during the German occupation and was only completed in 1946.

Eoin first drove the car to Dublin after his father purchased it in London in 1991 and on the drive it nearly caught on fire due to a faulty cable.

Sean passed the car on to Eoin when he moved to London 15 years ago and he was hoping to do the same for his children as well.

Eight years ago the car needed repairs to remove rust that had built up and Eoin was able to finish the work just before his father passed away.

He said: "Luckily my father saw it on the road before he died and it was like a rebirth."

Eoin said the car was a celebrity on his street and people's faces lit up when they saw it.

He said: "The neighbours on Andrews Road and all those on Broadway Market have been really great and their help has proven the importance of a community."

If anyone has any information they can get in touch with Eoin on 07887 713734.

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