By David Keane
A couple were left stunned when they discovered an unknown person sleeping in their car – only to discover he was a WANTED MAN being hunted by police.
Carl Mason, 21, had told his girlfriend Abbie Bennett, 19, to wait for him in his Ford Fiesta S Zetec while he finished getting ready to drive her home on Sunday morning.
However the trailer fitter thought Abbie was winding him up when she returned saying there was a man she didn’t recognise taking a snooze in the passenger seat of the vehicle.
But to Carl’s astonishment it turned out to be true – and even after they woke the man up he merely laughed and went back to sleep.
After calling the police, Carl says he was informed that the man was a suspect in an assault case from earlier that same day and was allegedly only out on day release from prison.
Carl, from Colchester, Essex, said: “I was due to be driving Abbie home and I said I would meet her out in the car. But then she came back in a couple of minutes later and said there was some bloke in the car.
“I thought she was having me on. But we went out and there he was sleeping. We knocked on the window but there was no response.
“My dad came out as I didn’t know what this guy was capable of. We woke him up and asked him what he was doing.
“He just looked a us and then went back to sleep. It was unbelievable.
“My dad said ring the police so I did and the woman asked for a description. They ended up coming straight away and arrested him over an assault.
“I thought that was weird but it turned out they had been looking for him over a break-in and the assault of a man who was on his own. I think he had used my car as somewhere to hide up.
“When the police came the guy said he had needles in his pocket and laughed. They took him away and then the police came back later that day and told me he was on day release for good behaviour but was now being sent back to prison.
“It’s one of those things that I thought anything could have happened. I could have let him go.
“If it had been half an hour later it could have been a different story. He could have stolen stuff but it was luck of the draw. My girlfriend could have opened the door and he could have done anything so I’m very relieved it ended how it did.”
“I don’t know how he got in. I could have left the passenger door unlocked but my alarm lights were flashing but there was no noise going off. I don’t know why there was no noise but it has never gone off before so I just don’t know.
“I don’t think he was in a condition to break in. There had been no damage to the car. He was definitely on drugs without a doubt. He looked like he had passed out and he had a roach [the remains of a rolled up marijuana cigarette] in his lap.
“It is such a weird thing to happen – especially the way he went back to sleep instantly. It’s quite shocking.
“I’ve never had anything like that happen before, it is crazy. It’s weird really. No one can believe it. All my friends are stunned.”
Carl, who has only had the Fiesta for three months after buying it second-hand, discovered the man at around 10.30am and rang the police by 10.45am.
Along with the ‘roach’ that Carl claims he had been smoking in his car, the man also appears to be clutching the top of a fast food drinks cup and straw.
Carl said: “I took the picture while waiting for the police to arrive in case something crazy happened and he decided to run off.
“I think he definitely smoked something in the car. I could smell it and saw the remains in his lap.
“The police said they had got the call about the break-in and assault at around 9.30am so if this was the guy then he couldn’t have been in my car for that long. Maybe an hour or so.
“My car seems fine thankfully, though the immobiliser seems to be playing up a bit.”
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Police arrested a man after a car was broken into in Colchester shortly before 11.30am on Sunday, March 26.
“The victim called the police after he found his car had been broken into and someone asleep inside.”