Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

Mum’s heartbreak after teenage son’s ashes stolen alongside family car

A mum has been left heartbroken after the ashes of her 18-year-old son were stolen alongside her family car. The Volkswagen Golf GTD was stolen in Wolvey just before 4 in the morning on Thursday, February 16. The car belonged to the elder brother of Jamie Rees who died when he was 18 years old after suffering a cardiac arrest on New Year’s Day in 2022.

Since his death, his older brother carried a photograph and some ashes in his car, to remember his brother.

Mum Naomi said: “We’re devastated, my son carried some of Jamie’s ashes in the car with him and a photograph of Jamie is in the dashboard of the car, so they would have literally had to be looking at Jamie as they were stealing the car.”

The family are now offering a reward of £1,000 for information leading to the car’s safe return.

Chief Inspector Jim Rankin, of Warwickshire Police, said: “This incident is an example of the heartless nature of these criminals, and we are investigating.

“Tackling vehicle crime is currently a priority for the force with additional investment and resources being used to tackle it.

“We are running Operation Inception targeting vehicle crime in the Rugby area. This is aimed at disrupting the activity of criminals and identifying those responsible.

“This operation has already seen some significant arrests and had a big impact on vehicle crime in the Rugby area.”

The OurJay Foundation, set up last year in memory of Jamie, has raised tens of thousands of pounds for more than 35 defibrillators and counting to be fitted in prominent locations across Rugby.

The charity, which has picked up from where the JustGiving page left off in the wake of Jamie’s sad passing, also raises awareness about the importance of having automated external defibrillators publicly accessible at all times.

A lack of publicly accessible defibrillators in Rugby, and a long delay in critical care reaching Jamie after he collapsed while watching fireworks with friends, are believed to have given the much-loved teenager little chance of survival.

He died at University Hospital Coventry on January 5, 2022, with his family by his bedside.

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