A WOMAN whose car was stolen along with sentimental pictures of her mother who died in December has made a public plea to try and retrieve the images.

Alex Denton’s Ford Fiesta was stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning (February 21) from her home in Conybeare Road in Sully, and was surprisingly found later that day in Cardiff thanks to social media.

But while the car, now undergoing forensics, was retrieved, the criminals had disposed of the possessions in the car before leaving it on a road in Riverside, including a box of sentimental photos of seven generations belonging to Mrs Denton’s late mum Pat, who died in December after a battle with cancer.

It’s been a difficult few months for Mrs Denton, who as well as losing her mum has also been furloughed from her job as a hairdresser, and is working night shifts at a supermarket.

Penarth Times: Alex Denton, a keen collector of family photosAlex Denton, a keen collector of family photos

Mrs Denton’s car is a keyless vehicle, which is easier to steal, and she says there has been a spate of attempted car thefts on the road in recent months.

Explaining the day of the theft, Mrs Denton said: “I came down and saw it [car] had gone. I told by husband and he didn’t believe me.

“He then opened the curtains and it was just disbelief.

“Thinking back though, we were suspicious the car may have been broken into on Friday, because we were convinced some stuff inside had gone missing.

“We immediately went around the street to ask if people had CCTV, and luckily a couple did.

“We realised they’d come at 2.20am that morning and took the car through a scanning system which I’m told is quite common.

“I rang the police and was advised to post about the incident on social media, and by 1pm on Sunday someone who had seen the post contacted me to say they’d seen my car in Riverside. I couldn’t believe it. It was a shot in the dark but shows the power of social media.

“All I really cared about was that those photos were still in the car though, and it’s been really upsetting since we realised they’d gone.

Penarth Times: Pat Pitten, Mrs Denton's motherPat Pitten, Mrs Denton's mother

“The reason they were in the car is because since my mother died we’d planned to take them to my brother for him to put on a memory stick because they were so special.

“They’re mostly of my mother and the family over seven generations.

“I’m hopeful they’ll be retrieved. The lid to the box of photos is still in the car, so we know whoever did this looked at the photos.

“I’m driving different routes to Riverside to see if I can see anything, and I’ve driven to Barry too as I’ve been told the same car was seen on Broad Street an hour after the theft."

Mum Pat Pitten, who died aged 73 on December 29, moved from her home in Barry to live with Mrs Denton days before she passed away.

A much-loved woman with connections to Barry, Sully, Dinas Powys and Penarth through various community groups, Mrs Pitten is survived by children Julian and Alex, son-in-law Jason, seven grandchildren, and four great-granchildren.

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“She was a lovely woman, a real bundle of joy,” Mrs Denton added. “She loved playing bowls with her friends, and she loved her family.

“These photos meant so much to us. It would mean a lot if anyone who has any information comes forward.”

A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “Police in the Vale of Glamorgan are investigating the theft of a car from an address on Conybeare Road in Sully which happened sometime between 11.30pm on Saturday 20th February and 8.00am the following morning.

“The car, a white Ford Focus was later found parked on Rolls Street in the Riverside area of Cardiff.

“Anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the Conybeare Road area of Sully on Saturday night or on Rolls Street on Sunday is asked to contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 and quote reference 2100061355.”