Police fundraiser to replace pensioner’s stolen 26-year-old Austin Metro

Christmas Jumpers Pic: The Ugly Sweater Shop

Police in Croydon will be raising money on Christmas Jumper Day this Friday to replace the much loved 26-year-old car of an elderly woman which was stolen and written off by thieves in October.

The woman, named only as “Mrs Gibbs” and her husband had owned the Austin Metro since purchasing it new in 1991.

Police asked members of the public via Twitter how they could use the festive period to raise money to replace the vehicle. While Christmas Jumper Day received 45 per cent of the votes, other ideas included a mince pie bake-off challenge and a competition to see who could best decorate their desk for Christmas.

A spokesperson for Croydon police told EastLondonLines: “Croydon CID are taking part in the Christmas Jumper Day and the money donated by detectives will be donated to Mr and Mrs Gibbs. Their car was written off and they only received £500 in insurance money. They do not have a vehicle at the moment and have to attend hospitals for appointments for both of them.”

Since publicising the theft, police have received several donations towards purchasing a replacement, including a “generous donation” from an unnamed local charity.

Christmas Jumper Day was originally launched in 2012 as a fundraising campaign by Save the Children. It aims to “make the world better with a sweater” with donations going towards improving the rights of children. Croydon police hope to instead use the event on December 15 to improve the Gibbs family’s Christmas.

The decision to fundraise a replacement was praised on social media, with several users asking where they could donate. However, some have called for police to ensure they purchase the victim another Metro rather than another make because she “obviously cherished it”.

Police will also be holding a Christmas meal on December 12 to “raise additional money”.

A man described in a police statement as a “prolific offender” who “[targeted] elderly people in Croydon” was charged with burglary on December 1.

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