THIS is the moment brazen thieves stole the 'pride of joy' of a pensioner recovering from a stroke.

Grandad-of-15 Peter Kerans said he was devastated to discover his silver Subaru Forrester was stolen from outside his home in Baxenden in the middle of the afternoon.

The 76-year-old suffered a stroke in April and has recently been released from hospital to stay at Church View Nursing Home in Accrington.

His family have been visiting his home in Hill Street to walk his dogs and check on his property but were shocked to discover his car was not in its usual parking spot.

Mr Kerans said: "It's terrible that your own car isn't safe outside your own house.

"It's very upsetting and I hope they catch whoever is responsible so that they can't do this to anyone else."

Mr Kerans, who celebrated his birthday this week, has owned the silver car for around 10 years.

It was his daughter Catherine Kerans who made the shocking discover when she went to check on her father's two dogs and one cat.

The mother-of-four and her brother have been visiting his home twice a day while he recovers.

Mrs Kerans, 42, said: "It's awful, it is really upsetting.

"He loved that car, it was his pride and joy.

"Now we're worried someone might come back and try and empty the house.

"He's been left very upset.

"It's not what he needs when he's trying to overcome a stroke.

"We're worried that the longer time passes the less likely we are to find the car again."

The family, who have released CCTV of the 4x4 vehicle being towed away by thieves, are now appealing for help to find the car and those responsible.

The footage shows a man a driving up to the house in a tow truck on Saturday.

He can then be seen getting out of the vehicle in a high vis top and walking towards the house.

The truck can then be seen reversing away from the house and back down Hill Street, Baxenden with the silver Subaru loaded on to the back of the truck.

The family are unsure when father-of-four Mr Kerans will be able to come home.

So far he has been staying at the nursing home in Princess Road for almost a month after leaving hospital following treatment for his stroke.

Cllr Terry Hurn, who represents the area on Hyndburn Council, said he often walks his dog down the road and was shocked to hear of the news.

He said: "How they could do it in broad light, just turn up and take the car away? I can't believe it.

"It's very shocking and surprising that this has happened.

"I just hope the police manage to catch those responsible."

Police said they were investigating the incident and are appealing for information about the theft.

A police spokesman said: "We were called at 2.55pm on Saturday to reports of a theft in Hill Street, Baxenden.

"Offenders came to a property and took the vehicle by towing it from the site and driving off.

"No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing."

Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number ED1714442.