A married couple are appealing for help in finding an urn full of ashes which travels with them to family events after Christmas car theft

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Police are searching for the missing car, ashes and presents Police are searching for the missing car, ashes and presents

A family has been left devastated after an urn containing their relative's ashes was stolen along with their car and a boot full of presents.

Michael Savage and his wife Mel had travelled to Loughton from West Bridgford in Nottinghamshire to spend Christmas with their friends.

Mr Savage, 29, explained that he and his wife had rushed into the house for a hot drink after spending hours battling through stormy weather on the motorway.

He said: "We just leapt in the house as the wind was howling.

"We know we shouldn’t have left the presents and my father-in-law's ashes in the car, but we just wanted a hot drink and some rest after battling down the motorway for over three hours.

"We are staying with our close friends over Christmas and then travelling to my parents’ home on Boxing Day so we brought down with us a boot full of Christmas presents. We are just sorry to all our friends’ children who will have to wait several more weeks for some new presents.

"My father-in-law’s ashes reside with us in our Nottinghamshire home, but he travels with us to all significant family gatherings so that he can share in the occasion. If anything, we appeal to the thieves to contact the police with the location of the ashes so that we can have Mel’s dad back with us.”

Mrs Savage had grown up in Loughton where her father Stephen Hall had settled despite being a school headteacher in Hackney.

Mr Hall was also a very active member of the Loughton Running Club until he passed away four years ago.

On Monday evening the pair arrived in the town and parked their black BMW 118d in Lower Park Road.

The car, registration number PY08 NZW, was stolen between 11pm and 10am on Tuesday morning.

A police spokesman said: "We’re desperately looking to find this man’s car and his wife’s father’s ashes as well as the thieves who stole it.

"With this in mind, sightings of this car or anyone who saw people acting suspiciously near the junction of Lower Park Road and High Road in Loughton overnight should contact us.”

Anyone who knows of the whereabouts of this car is urged to contact Essex Police on 101. 

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