Rare toy car which was owner's "most precious possession" stolen by Raunds thieves

A Raunds man has been left "heartbroken" after rare toy car given to him by his mum before she died was stolen from a garage

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:00 am
Keith Brealey was given the car by his late mother. He had owned it for 70 years.

Keith Brealey, 71, who lives in London Road was given the 1949 Austin Pathfinder by his mother who saved up for months to buy the toy.

Keith's daughter, Louise Brealey, who starred as Molly Hooper in the BBC series Sherlock, has appealed for help in finding the car on Twitter.

Louise wrote: "On Tuesday my dad had a break-in and thieves stole his most precious possession. His mum, who died when dad was a boy, saved up for months to buy him an Austin Pathfinder pedal car.

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Keith's 1949 Austin Pathfinder was not is as good condition as this because the car had been so well-loved by him and his family

"He has owned it for 70 years."

She described her dad as "desolate".

Keith's grandaughter, Emilie Brealey, has also been sharing appeals on Facebook and said the situation was breaking her heart because the car was so sentimental after Keith's mother passed away in his early teens.

She said: "He let his grandchildren ride in it and he was always as proud as the day he received it when he saw it being played with - just how he used to.

Louise Brealey played Molly Hooper in the BBC series Sherlock

"He is absolutely heartbroken that it has been taken from him.

"This has ripped him apart and as his 25-year-old granddaughter it is extremely hard to see him like this and I'd love to try everything I can to get this car back in his arms again - just like the day he received it."

Northamptonshire Police are investigating and said the break-in happened between 7pm on Tuesday, November 12 and 8.10am on Wednesday, November 13.

A number of power tools were also stolen from the garage which was broken in to.

Police said it is thought the offenders drove away in a Peugeot SUV.

Keith's daughter Louise said that police were doing their best and that her dad cannot believe the number of messages and shares they have had after they appealed for help.

A photo of a similar Austin Pathfinder has been shared but Louise said: "I should say that dad's Pathfinder is a very rusty trusty old friend and not the one in the colour picture.

"That's what they look like when they're all restored. His car was loved hard and showed it."

Emilie said: "It holds so many beautiful memories, please can we all get this as shared around as possible."

The family are offering a £1,000 reward for the pedal car's safe return.