Crooks steal car with ‘back to school’ shopping seconds after mum pops into Asda

Leanne Wilkinson, 37, went to a Tameside Asda to buy groceries when thieves waited ‘three seconds’ after she entered the shop to break into her car and steal it

Leanne and Steven Wilkinson’s car was stolen from a supermarket car park

Brazen thieves waited for a mum and her two young sons to enter the supermarket before breaking into her car.

Leanne Wilkinson, 37, finished her “back to school” shop with £250 worth of school uniform, bags and shoes before heading to a Tameside Asda to buy food yesterday at about 5.30pm.

Less than three seconds after walking through the shop entrance, thieves broke into the Ford Focus ST and drove away, Manchester Evening News reports.

The housing association officer said: “I’m still in a bit of shock. I only nipped into Asda. We just can’t believe it.

“The boys were complaining about it, but I insisted we needed to pop to Asda on the way home. That’s where it happened, and everything was still in the car.

This is the car that was stolen


Leanne Wilkinson)

“I came out of Asda, looked in the space where I’d parked up and there was a different car in it. I looked around, thinking maybe I had parked it somewhere else, but I knew it was definitely there.

“I’m just glad that they didn’t approach me when I was still in the car with the kids. We’re all fine and we’re not hurt.”

The mum-of-three entered the store with her two sons, aged seven and 10, at 5.31pm – and by the time they left the store at 5.50pm the car had vanished.

When a store manager checked the CCTV, they saw the thieves in a silver Volkswagen Golf had followed her into the car park and stopped nearby.

Leanne’s car has keyless entry and it is believed they used a device to capture the signal as the car was locked when she went into the supermarket.

The mum said: “I’ve no idea how long they were following me for.

“I don’t remember seeing a silver car but I had the boys at the back of the car, they were arguing at one point so I was probably not paying too much attention to it.

Callous thieves waited just seconds for Leanne and her two young sons to enter an Asda before nicking her car


Leanne Wilkinson)

“But the manager said the car had definitely followed me into the car park.”

Leanne was told that the thieves, believed to be two males, waited less than three seconds after she walked into the store before making their way into the Focus.

Leanne has reported the theft to Greater Manchester Police.

She’s also realised she has lost sentimental items that were in the car as well as other valuables.

Leanne said: “I keep remembering the stuff that was in the car – just little bits of things like a crystal pen my husband bought for one of our anniversaries.

“I stupidly left a work phone in there. I knew I was only popping in so I just chucked it in the glovebox. I had my North Face jacket on the back seat.

“But the main thing was the uniforms. I had only just bought them yesterday and all the receipts were in the bags, so it’s a bit of a nightmare. I’ll have to head out and buy everything again.”

Leanne’s car was stolen from an Asda in Tameside



Leanne, who also has a 14-year-old daughter, wrote about the theft on Facebook, and her post has been shared more than 4,000 times, while she has received messages about the car being seen in Ashton-under-Lyne.

After reporting it to the police, Leanne says she is expecting a response back from officers by the end of the week, while ANPR cameras will be monitored for the motor.

Leanne said: “The thieves won’t be stupid, it might be on cloned plates by now or something. I’m pretty sure they will have done that.

“A couple of people have messaged me to say they saw my car speed off and nearly hit them on the way out of Asda.”

The Ford Focus ST was stolen with its registration plate as BA66 CYE and its VIN number as WF05XXGCC5HJ13351.

The grey car, with large black alloy wheels, has slightly chipped paint on the rear bumper.

Anyone who sees the vehicle is asked to call GMP on 101, or report the sighting online, quoting reference number 2345 of August 31, 2021.

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