Thieves steal car during de-icing as Hitchin restaurant owner loses irreplaceable items from late father – but thankfully avoided daughter being taken

Andrei Lussman's car thief

Andrei Lussman's car thief - Credit: Archant

The director of a popular Hitchin restaurant is appealing for people to be aware of car thieves after he had his own vehicle stolen – along with irreplaceable sentimental items relating to his late father after he narrowly avoided his young daughter being taken as well.

Andrei Lussman of Lussmans Fish and Grill on Sun Street started his maroon Volvo Estate XC70 AWD outside his house in Bedfordshire yesterday morning around 8.40am. He then popped back inside to pick something up – but, in the short time he was inside his home, a heartless thief jumped into the car and drove it away.

Speaking exclusively to the Comet Mr Lussman said: “At 8.40am I started my car in order to de-ice.

“I began to load up and was moving stuff in and out of the house into the boot.

“My car was parked on a private driveway of the main road next to Raymond Smith garage in Moggerhanger.


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“I was in my office for a matter of seconds before one of my daughters alerted me to the car being driven off at speed in the direction of Bedford.

“Lots of personal items of sentimental value were in the boot regarding my dad who has passed away.”

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The situation could have been made even worse as family man Mr Lussman, 44, had been about to put his young daughter in the car in preparation for the school run.

He added: “I was about to place my daughter in the back as she was about to be dropped off at school.

“Insurers are unlikely to pay out so the moral is not to leave your car for even a second while to de-iceing in cold weather – or for anything else – even if it’s outside your house.”

Beds police confirmed they were hunting for a car thief or thieves after a second car was stolen in nearby Sandy. Between 8.15am and 8.30am yesterday a silver 56-reg Audi A3 was taken from the driveway in Plovers Field, Sandy, after the owner returned to his house while it defrosted.

Community Sergeant Liz Spurling said: “We continue to urge motorists to leave extra time to go outside and de-ice their windows themselves, rather than leaving their car unlocked and the engine running.

“You might only pop inside for a moment, but that’s long enough for someone to steal your car if it is left unattended.”

As well as his Hitchin branch Mr Lussman also runs restaurants in Hertford, St Albans, Harpenden and soon to be Tring.

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