POLICE smashed their way into a mum-of-three’s car after mistaking a doll for a baby.
Kelly Carnell left her car in a pay-and-display car park in Fareham town centre and went to do some shopping.
But the 31-year-old was stunned when she returned to her Nissan Almera and found the driver’s window had been smashed in.
A doll, which had been left on the back seat by her seven-year-old daughter Reece, had also gone missing.
A note left by the police said the doll had been taken to Fareham police station.
Mrs Carnell, of Willersley Close, Paulsgrove, said: ‘There was glass absolutely everywhere.
‘I thought maybe someone had broken in.
‘There was a note from the police saying the doll had been taken to the police station. I was absolutely gobsmacked.’
Mrs Carnell said she then spoke to a workman, who saw police smash the window.
‘He said an ambulance had also turned up.
Mrs Carnell said: ‘The workman said he had pulled one of the policemen aside and said it was obviously not a real baby as the hands were plastic, but they smashed the window anyway.’
Mrs Carnell collected the doll from the police station and admitted it could cause some confusion.
It had been left in a children’s booster seat by Reece after she was dropped off at school that morning.
The doll, called Evie, was a £320 birthday gift to Reece and had been specially-crafted with real hair.
Mrs Carnell said: ‘It’s very realistic.
‘I can understand if someone walked past they could think it was a baby, but if you look properly, it’s obviously a doll.’
Neil Miller, a spokesman for Hampshire Police, said: ‘A member of the public alerted police to what they thought was an unconscious baby in the car.
‘Officers, believing it may well be a baby that was motionless and not breathing, gained entry to the vehicle by smashing the window in order to save life and limb and were acting in good faith.
‘Fortunately, it turned out to be a very realistic doll, rather than an asphyxiated human being.
‘Apologies were made to the car owner and we are indeed paying for the damage.’
Mrs Carnell said she would now be extra cautious and not leave the doll in the back of her car.
She added: ‘I was just so shocked to be honest.
‘It’s not every day you think you are going to come back to your car smashed up because the kid’s toy is in the back.’