A horrified Ruskington dad claims he took his 14-month-old son out in his car only to discover someone had dangerously loosened his wheel nuts.
Stu Mercer, 32, discovered on Wednesday that the nuts on three of his 19-year-old classic Toyota MR2 sports car had been left loose to such an extent that one nut dropped when he drove to the shops in the village.
He reported the matter to the police and put a warning out on Facebook after the shock discovery which had also resulted in damaged to the rear sill of his car where someone appears to have used a scissor jack before being disturbed and making off.
Stu, a trained tiler and plumber, has owned the classic car for two years and said he uses it for his day to day travel. It is his pride and joy, religiously checking his tyres and levels twice a week.
He believes the tampering took place on Monday night. He said: “The car had been parked outside my house overnight and had been absolutely fine for months. I took my 14-month-old son out in the car on Tuesday and felt a vibration in the steering wheel. I thought nothing of it except the balance might be out and would see to it.
“The next day I drove to the Co-op in Ruskington. On the way back I saw a wheel nut at the cross roads that looked like one of mine. I checked and saw mine was missing, then checked and found the others were loose too apart from the one on my rear passenger side.
“On closer inspection I saw the under sill on the passenger side is damaged, probably where they have tried to jack it up with a scissor jack. It has gone through and will cost no less than £1,000 to get sorted.”
Mr Mercer said the wheel paintwork had also been chipped and will need refurbishing, but said: “I just don’t have the funds to fix it.
“I am devastated because it is my pride and joy and my only vehicle.
“If I had been going at full speed and a wheel came off it would have been devastating, especially with my son in the car. I don’t know why people have that mindset.”
He had been told by fellow MR2 owners locally that it was a regular occurrence with some trying to steal the wheels but others just recklessly loosen the nuts for fun.
Anyone with information should contact Lincolnshire Police on 101.