Appeal after brazen thief stole car key from couple’s home as they watched TV then drove car out of driveway

A brazen thief entered an Edinburgh man’s home and stole his car key before driving the vehicle out of his driveway as he and his wife watched television in their living room.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:45 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:10 pm

The thief waltzed through the main door and went upstairs to Brian McCardle’s upper villa in Prestonfield Avenue before swiping the key fob to his black Nissan Qashqai from the top of a bedroom cabinet, just after 2pm on Thursday.

The door to his home was left open for a painter outside who has been perfecting a sunset mural on the fence around his garden decking.

Mr McCardle believes the thief was an opportunist and suspects they wanted the vehicle to carry out another crime and hopes it has since been abandoned and can still be found.

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Mr McCardle is hoping the car, which has a distinctive number plate, will be parked up somewhere and can still be found.

The 65-year-old, a bus driver guide for a local tour company, said: “At 2pm I came in and the car was on the driveway and I had a guy doing a mural on the decking - but there is a partition between him and the car. I’d left the front door and top door open so the guy could come in.

“My wife actually said she could hear someone on the stairs and thought it might be the guy coming to ask for a cup of tea, then saw him on the decking and noticed the car had been moved. So this person came in the front door and up the stairs, and we are in the living room watching TV, and turned left into the bedroom and stole the key.

“He knew we were in because the car was in the driveway. He must be gallus, he must be a pretty hardy type of guy.

“If I had come in five minutes later he might have been walking down the stairs.”

The Nissan Qashqai was stolen from the driveway after the thief went into the owner's house and took the key. Pic: supplied

Mr McCardle said a worker on the street saw the car being driven down a cul-de-sac before braking very fast then speeding off, suggesting the thief did not know the area too well.

Another neighbour described the thief as aged around 40, of fairly heavy build and around 6ft tall. They had believed it was Brian’s own son getting into the car.

Mr McCardle had bought the car in February this year for £13,000 as an upgrade after 14 years of driving a Skoda. The black Nissan Qashqai has the registration number UR65 BRY.

He said he would usually carry the car key in his pocket or work bag or keep them on the living room table - but on this occasion it was in the bedroom as he had not been using the car having recently come out of hospital following an operation.

Mr McCardle, who has lived in Prestonfield for about 13 years but is originally from the Niddrie area, said a phone and his wife’s jewellery were also in the bedroom but that none of these items were stolen.

He added: “I am hoping that wherever he is he has just parked it up and b*****ed off.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Around 2.25pm on Thursday, 27 May, we received a report of a car stolen from a property in Prestonfield Avenue, Edinburgh. Enquiries into the incident are ongoing."

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, citing reference number 1814 of May 27.

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