A FAMILY has been devastated by the theft of a disabled women's motability vehicle in a burglary - only a week after it was delivered.

In the early hours of Wednesday a thief forced open a window at the rear of a house in Ashdown Way, Billingham, Teesside.

After searching the lounge and kitchen of the home, the thief stole a handbag containing cash, credit cards and a mobile phone.

Also taken were the keys to the victim's new motability car - a blue Kia Cerato.

The victim did not realise she had been burgled until 7am. Later, she noticed the car had been stolen.

It was later found burnt-out on waste land in Port Clarence.

The victim is disabled and has two grandsons, aged 11 and nine, living with her. Both have learning difficulties. The woman had taken delivery of the vehicle a week earlier and said it had made a great deal of difference not only to her life, but to the lives of her grandchildren.

A police spokeswoman said: "This is a particularly cruel theft. The person or persons who broke into the lady's house must have been well aware due to the mobility aides in the property that the victim was disabled.

"She has been left extremely shaken by the whole incident and was absolutely devastated when she was told about her car.

"Her grandsons have also been left greatly distressed."

Anyone with information is asked to call Stockton police on (01642) 302226.