Police in Worksop mistakenly broke into a parked car to rescue a doll, after being called to help by a passing member of the public.
The doll was so life-like that the officers mistook it for a real baby and smashed the window of the Vauxhall only to discover their mistake.
“I can understand why they did it – it could have been a real baby in danger,” conceded mum Victoria Cristofis, whose 5-year old daughter Chanel had left the doll in the car.
Victoria’s partner Anastasi Cristofis, the car’s owner, was less impressed. “I couldn’t believe it when the police tuned up holding the doll and told me what had happened,” he told the local paper. “I can understand people thinking it’s a real baby, but surely common sense would kick in after a few moments.”
The doll was a life-like toy named Sam, with realistic features such as eye lashes and fingernails, that Chanel takes everywhere with her.
“My daughter Chanel saw the doll for sale in the local Post Office,” explained Victoria. “She pestered and pestered me until I bought it for her birthday – it cost £100.”
The police force offered to pay for the damage but explained that they had no other option than to enter the vehicle. “The call was made in good faith by a passing member of the public. In this case a young life was potentially at risk,” said Sergeant Robert Holmes.
Indeed a mum in Carlisle has just been given a community order for leaving her three children in a car in temperatures of 40C for 45 minutes. Police had to break into the car to rescue the distressed children.
Sergeant Holmes used the doll case to remind motorists to be careful about what they leave in their cars.
“This is a perfect example of why drivers need to think about what they leave on view in their car, both in terms of other people’s perception of the objects and in a bid to deter opportunist thieves.”