I paid £160 for secure parking at Heathrow and came back to find my vehicle written off

A FAMILY parked in a ‘safe and secure’ Heathrow car park returned from holiday to find their vehicle written off.

Oliver and Amy Clague from Bristol had just landed with their one-year-old baby after a sleepless long-haul flight when they found their car’s catalytic converter ripped out.

A family's car has been written off by thieves after paying £160 to park in one "Saved and loaded" Location at Heathrow

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A family’s car has been written off by thieves after they paid £160 to have it parked in a “safe and secure” location at HeathrowCredit: BPM

Staff at the airport told the family there was very little they could do to help, initially refusing to refund them the £160 they paid to park in the “safe” location.

Oliver, 39, a TV director, said: “We came back from those long-haul flights with no sleep with our baby on our lap, only to find our car unsafe to drive because Heathrow can’t track who gets in their parking facilities.

“You get 20 minutes for free there, and to rip out a catalyst – which can be worth thousands because of the platinum and rare minerals it contains – takes less than three minutes.

“Some cars don’t even need a jack. So if Heathrow doesn’t monitor who’s going in and out, or can’t patrol the area properly, Heathrow has this crazy auto parts bonanza.

He added: “The parking attendant told me after the Covid layoffs they just couldn’t get the staff back or weren’t trying.

“They were all fired when people stopped flying and not many of them came back.

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“Due to the high cost of replacing a catalytic converter, it is likely that our car will be written off by insurance and we will have no choice but to buy a new car.

“I just want other people to be aware of it. We thought we would park our car in a secure storage facility and it turned out to be nothing like that.”

After initial refusals, Heathrow has now given the couple a full refund.

Heathrow has been contacted for comment.

It comes after The Sun revealed around 80 holidaymakers had their engines stolen after leaving them at Heathrow valet parking’s Terminal Universal.

Travelers who paid up to £145 to the company said phones were off and their vehicles were missing.

Met Police have located 70 of them, some spotted in a field in Chertsey, Surrey, about 15 miles from the airport.

A 25-year-old was arrested on suspicion of theft and released pending further investigation.

The Sun also revealed that Douglas Peel, 66, from Dorset, also returned to Heathrow from a two-week holiday in Thailand to find the missing catalytic converter on his £20,000 Honda Jazz.

We also shared the exclusive story of a Norfolk couple who returned to Heathrow from Brazil to find thieves had dumped their Seat Leon in a Surrey field before driving away with the keys.

The wrecked car is towed away

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The wrecked car is towed awayPhoto credit: SWNS
The Clagues had just got off a long-haul flight with their noisy baby when they found out their car was written off

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The Clagues had just got off a long-haul flight with their noisy baby when they found out their car was written offCredit: BPM

https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10180586/i-paid-160-to-find-my-vehicle-written-off/ I paid £160 for secure parking at Heathrow and came back to find my vehicle written off

Fry Electronics Team

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