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Haringey Independent’s Spurs correspondent found car had been tampered with
A suspected car scam cost the Haringey Independent’s Tottenham Hotspur correspondent almost £200 when a gang broke into his vehicle during the north London derby.
Journalist and life-long Spurs fan Chris Hewett, 25, returned to his Renault Clio in jubilant mood after Spurs’ 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
But his joy was tempered when he arrived at a DVLA car pound in White Hart Lane, used by hundreds of driving fans as a car park on match days, to find the vehicle unlocked.
As he went to start the car, he found the engine jerking, stuttering and struggling to pull away.
He called out an AA specialist who discovered someone had broken into the passenger door, opened the bonnet and filled the oil tank with water, soaking the spark plugs.
Police suspect the action may have been a scam to mimic a blown head gasket, and that someone may have offered to repair the ‘damage’ had he returned to the car earlier.
Mr Hewett said: “I thought it was a bit strange that the car was unlocked and, when the car began jumping around after I started the engine, I knew something was wrong.
“You could see where they prised open the passenger door and it’s pretty odd that nothing in the car was taken. It just makes you wonder if it’s happened to any other cars.”
The site is owned by vehicle disposal firm Redcorn Ltd, which has contracts to dispose of nuisance and unregistered vehicles on behalf of a number of local authorities, including Westminster Council.
The Haringey Independent contacted the firm, which said it was not responsible for running the car park.
Police are now seeking to establish whether any more vehicles have also been tampered with on match days.
Mr Hewett said: “It’s pretty frustrating really as it took the edge off what was otherwise a great day for Spurs. As long as people are aware, they may not get caught out.”