Shopper Lenka Nowotna got into a hole lot of trouble when pranksters removed no parking signs from a street where engineers were tunnelling out new water mains.
The 28-year-old driver - from Prague, Czech Republic - had left her Skoda Fabia by the kerb while she dashed into a supermarket.
She came out minutes later to find it had disappeared down a five foot deep hole when the road surface collapsed.
"I only came out to get some crisps for my son's birthday party. But one minute it was there, the next it had gone," she explained.
Firefighters eventually pulled the car out of the pit after engineers had made the road safe.
A city council spokesman said: "Work is being done on that part of the road and it seems someone removed the no parking sign."