Doctor finds his car wrecked after away match

A hospital doctor who has had his car smashed up while following his football team is now having to rely on lifts to work.

Tim Merchant, a Norwich fan who works at the James Paget in Norfolk, was in Birmingham for Saturday's 1-0 defeat for the Canaries.

He had parked his Toyota Yaris in a street near the St Andrew's stadium, but returned to find a window smashed and parts ripped out from under the bonnet.

West Midlands Police said it was investigating.

Dr Merchant had researched suitable parking places before heading to Birmingham.

His preferred car park was no longer in use, so he parked in nearby Garrison Street.

He said there were "a lot of cars which were much nicer than mine - Mercedes, BMWs, Teslas - all parked around the space I'd selected".

He said there were nothing in the car that identified him as a Norwich supporter.

Dr Merchant, who lives in Norwich, said: "I left at 80 minutes because Norwich were playing so poorly - probably the worst performance I've ever seen."

When he got back to Garrison Street, he found "the driver's side window had been smashed and the entire bonnet and bumper removed, and all the electricals and engine parts stripped".

"You get the initial shock, 'is it my car?', panic then sets in, stress [and] fear."

He said that people passing by while he was waiting for his car to be collected said there had been an increase in this kind of theft from the area in recent weeks.

Dr Merchant said he got a lot of support "from both Birmingham and Norwich fans... just checking on me, getting me a bottle of water".

He believed his car might have been targeted as parts for Japanese cars have been difficult to get hold of.

He has had to arrange lifts to get him to work at the James Paget University Hospital.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: "We are studying CCTV footage and would appeal for anyone with any information to please contact us.

"When [vehicle crime] happens, we will follow lines of inquiry and work to identify and arrest offenders. We’re also committed to arresting those involved in chop shops and others involved in the illegal trade in spare parts."

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