BRIXHAM A thief who stole a car after spotting the keys in the ignition swiftly abandoned it when he was confronted by a great dane that had been asleep on the back seat.
The man was unaware that Diesel, an alsatian cross, was inside the Toyota 4x4. As he drove off he saw the dog, 9st (57kg) and 6ft tall on his hind legs, through his rear view mirror. As soon as Diesel sat up, the man stopped the car and fled.
Police found the car outside Brixham Rugby Club, Devon, only 30 yards from where it had been taken. The owner, Nick Griggs, 41, of Brixham, who runs a quad bike centre, said: “I’d love to have seen the look on his face when he saw Diesel. He must have got the shock of his life. There’s no alarm, but who needs one when you’ve got the Hound of the Baskervilles in your back seat?”
The car was stolen after Mr Griggs’s wife, Karen, 41, forgot to remove her keys from the ignition when she went to collect the couple’s two children from school. She said that the 11-month-old dog “would have thought it was time for walkies”. She added: “He’s a big softie – if the guy had hung around he’d have licked his hands and face. He’s very good with strangers.”