What kind of nasty low-life person are you?

That is the question Whangarei 77-year-old Ineke Eveleens-van der Harst has for the heartless thieves who jacked up her car and stole four wheels.

"Yes you: the gutless excuse of a human being who took the wheels of my car."

The Mazda Lantis car may not be valuable in money terms but it has huge sentimental value - her husband Dirk bought it for her a year before he died of cancer.

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He even kitted it out with personalised plates "4INEKE".

Now Eveleens-van der Harst is dying from an incurable illness sarcoidosis and her wish is to drive the car again before she dies.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body, but mostly the lungs and lymph glands. Sarcoidosis causes abnormal masses or nodules - called granulomas - consisting of inflamed tissues to form in certain organs of the body. Eveleens-van der Harst also has lung cancer and is in pain most of the time.

"So thank you, you have made my life even more difficult. You have taken away my only means of transport," Eveleens-van der Harst said, wiping tears from her eyes.

Ineke Eveleens-van der Harst heard nothing as thieves stripped her beloved car of it's wheels. Photo / Tania Whyte
Ineke Eveleens-van der Harst heard nothing as thieves stripped her beloved car of it's wheels. Photo / Tania Whyte

"I'm slowly dying and this could be the last straw."

The car was parked in a shed about 50m from her house in Maunu when thieves took the wheels late last Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Her careworker raised the alarm on his daily visit to her house about 3pm on Sunday.

"He came running up the steps yelling at me to see if I was all right. He thought because the wheels had gone I may have been in trouble as well."

She was reduced to tears when she saw her beloved car still jacked up and the wheels missing.

"My husband bought this car for me just before he died. I've had it for 20 years this month. We would have been married 54 years last week if he was still alive. I still miss him."

She used the car for grocery shopping and her many trips to Whangarei Hospital.

Cataracts have curtailed her driving over the past 12 months but she hopes surgery will restore her sight and she will be able to drive again.

In the meantime she has to use taxis to get around when she is physically well enough because she has no insurance to pay for another set of wheels.

Whangarei Senior Sergeant Darren Sullivan said police were investigating and an officer was to visit her yesterday.