A heartless thief stole a car from a distraught pensioner after tricking her into getting out of the car by saying it was dangerous.
The 72-year-old victim had returned to her black Ford Focus when a hooded man approached pointing to the bonnet and claiming the vehicle had a leak.
Inside a Whole Foods car park the woman left the keys in the ignition and bent down to check the alleged leak while the suspect quickly got behind the wheel and started the engine.
During the theft, on November 16, the pensioner stood in defiance and begged the driver to stop by slamming her hand down on the bonnet.
As the thief fled the scene in Heathfield, East Sussex he clipped the victim’s knee and also stole her handbag, house keys, money and credit card which she had left in the car.
Police, who have released CCTV footage of the car-jacking, later recovered the vehicle in Hellingly, East Sussex, on November 21.
PC Catherine Maddock said: “Thankfully the victim is physically fine after the incident but is still extremely shaken.
“This is a concerning incident but we are hoping someone might have seen the man responsible for the theft.
“We’d also advice people not to leave the keys in their car if they need to check on it, take the keys out or drive away to check it at home.
“Were you in Heathfield on November 16 and did you see a man acting suspiciously in the car park?
“The suspect is described as around 45, 5′ 9″, stocky with stubble and wearing a hat.”