Car theft victim hit by claim

A victim of car crime has received an insurance claim from a police force after a patrol vehicle was damaged when officers tried to retrieve his stolen vehicle.

Jason West, 22, called police when his VW Golf was taken after he had left it unattended with the keys in the ignition in Stoke-on-Trent, local newspaper The Sentinel reported.

Officers located the stolen car and set off in pursuit, but their unmarked patrol car was damaged as the thief tried to get away.

Mr West found that his car had also been damaged when it was returned to him, and he paid £200 for repairs so that he would not have to claim on his insurance. Five months later, he received a letter from Staffordshire Police informing him of their own insurance claim.

"I cannot believe the police want me to pay for damage to their car," Mr West told The Sentinel. "I am being punished through no fault of my own. I am a victim of theft.

"My insurance could go up from £1,000 to £2,000 a year, which I wouldn't be able to afford, and if I cannot drive I could lose my job."

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