A CAR owner has been left baffled and furious after raiders stole the front bumper and grille from his car.

Tom Ross, 22, of Oak Grange Drive, Southend, may have to fork out hundreds of pounds to replace bodywork on his silver Ford Fiesta after “professional” thieves unscrewed the bumper in the middle of the night.

Mr Ross said neither he nor his parents, who sleep at the front of the house with their windows open, heard a thing as thieves got to work through the night and into Sunday morning.

Mr Ross now can’t drive the vehicle as it is illegal to do so. He said: “When I saw what had happened, I could have ripped someone’s head off, I was so angry.

“They unscrewed the bumper professionally, took some of the lights off, unclipped it and just took it off. They haven’t ripped or smashed it off. The rest of the car is fine.

“It’s baffling. I can’t understand why they would take just the front of my car. None of the windows has been touched and nothing has been taken from inside.”

Mr Ross’s mechanic estimated the work would cost about £1,200, but his insurers will only pay if the cost is less than what the car is worth, and it is yet to be valued.

After researching the theft on the internet, Mr Ross found Fiesta owners nationwide were being targeted for their bumpers.

He added: “My mechanic said he remembers it happening three years ago and I heard someone in Rayleigh had their bumper stolen about six months ago. “I’m really annoyed.”

A police scenes of crime team dusted for fingerprints.

Anyone with information about the theft, which took place between 8.30pm on May 24 and 9.15am on May 25, should call Southend police on 101.