A 70-YEAR-OLD House of Fraser employee returned to her car in a a Lakeside car park to find the exhaust had been sawn off.

The catalytic converter was stolen from her Honda Jazz while she was parked in the red car park at the shopping centre.

Her partner, Alan Richardson, said: “She started her car and there was a huge roar.

“She managed to drive home at a very low speed. We then took it to Kwik Fit the next day and they told us the exhaust had been completely sawn off. I think the garage heard her coming before they saw her.

“The wires were all left hanging out.

“They then said that the catalytic converter had been stolen.”

The 86-year-old, from Chafford Hundred, said his partner was so scared and could not go in to work the day after.

He added: “She was so upset. Absolutely terrified.

“A lot of people park there, they have to be aware.”

Anyone with information should call Essex Police on 101 quoting 42/7723/20 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.