It was a horrible start to 2018 for Tony Gatt. Within five days, he had two vintage cars stolen from streets in Paola. His sons quickly took to Facebook to launch a nationwide appeal looking for the two cars; a Mark 1 Ford Escort and a particularly rare Lotus Cortina Mark 1. Unfortunately, it turned out that Gatt wasn’t the only recent victim of car theft in the area.
“Please be aware of your vehicles during the night, especially old / vintage ones,” one of Gatt’s sons said on Facebook over the weekend after the second car was reported missing.
With the police investigating the case, the Gatt sons offered a reward of €500 for any solid leads, saying they wanted to “break this chain of robberies” and make their father happy again.
The two cars were last spotted on Triq Ħal Saflieni and Burial Street, and even feature in the Google Street View photo of the two roads which was taken all the way back in November 2016.
Soon, the Facebook post gained a lot of traction, being shared over 200 times in less than 24 hours. While dozens of people hoped for the best, others reported similar cases of robberies from around the streets of Paola.
One person said a quadbike was also stolen from the town, with another saying all the cars in his street were opened and robbed of their contents.
The quad bike which was also stolen from the same road in Paola, on Friday night between 8 and 8:30pm.
This week was off to a better start, as the rare Cortina was found.
“Thanks to the police and to the persons who gave the tip,” Gatt’s son said on Facebook this morning. “No reports about the Ford Escort yet…” Tony Gatt’s wife also chimed in, thanking everyone for their help and support.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the Paola Local Council and the Malta Police Force for an official statement on Tony Gatt’s case and the other similar ones raised by locals, but have yet to receive a reply.