Key theft gang jailed


A gang of 11 burglars and stolen car handlers operating around Nottingham have been sentenced to 24 years imprisonment for their roles in what police say was the largest car key burglary operation in Britain.

This type of vehicle theft has been out of the news recently with the BMW on-board diagnostics (OBD) theft scare grabbing headlines, but cases like this show that stealing cars by first nicking the keys is still the most common method in Britain.

A survey by insurer LV in October found that that the owners' keys are used in two thirds of the 150,000 cars stolen each year.

Stolen keys used in majority of car thefts
Stolen keys used in majority of car thefts
Police say the gang, operating in the Kimberley and Eastwood area just north of Nottingham, were breaking into houses to steal keys to pinch cars and either using them in subsequent crimes or shipping them overseas.

Police estimate they stole around 60 cars over a 12 month period worth approximately £1 million. As you would expect, prestige brands were targeted mostly. The bulk of those taken were SUVs including Range Rovers, BMW X5s and Audi Q7s.

The cars for export were mainly being shipped to Africa, the investigation headed by East Midlands Special Operations Unit discovered. They passed on information on the stolen cars to the South African Police Vehicle Identification Service to be on the lookout when they arrived into Port Elizabeth. The operation found that the cars were taken over a 12-month period beginning in October 2010.

The same survey by LV discovered that only one in 50 cars is now being stolen in the traditional manner by hotwiring.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (49) Join the discussion on the forum

  • raptor600 29 Nov 2012

    dandarez said:
    Exactly.

    So, they stole a million quids worth of vehicles (say they only made half of that, it's £50k each) and punishment is in reality locked-up B&B TV and pool for a few months, then back in business.

    Who are the fools? I think it is us who are imprisoned, not them!

    Sea change needed.
    And I bet no money was recovered either...

    Absolute joke, makes me wonder why I bother trying to make an honest living sometimes.

  • Dixie68 29 Nov 2012

    N88 said:
    Lunablack said:
    So an average of 2.2 years each..... I'll bet most don't do 1 year
    This.

    Bloody ridiculous.
    The scumbag equivalent of a Gap Year.

  • HairbearTE 29 Nov 2012

    Dave Hedgehog said:
    Steamer said:
    Lunablack said:
    So an average of 2.2 years each..... I'll bet most don't do 1 year...... That'll learn emrolleyes
    My thoughts exactly - Frickin' 'soft touch' Britain again.
    its a joke

    they will be straight back at it
    And you know if one of them were to sustain a nasty blow to the head with a 3-wood when caught in the act the poor bloody car owner would get more than 2.2 years.. frown

  • KimZ 28 Nov 2012

    Twoshoe said:
    devnull said:
    sanguinary said:
    Twoshoe said:
    I don't know why more manufacturers don't have a keypad in addition to the ignition key, like Citroen Xantias do/did. Therefore you cannot start the car without having both the key and the PIN.

    Say what you like about Xantias, but they were bloomin' hard to nick!
    I unplugged the keypad on my old Xantia whilst doing some work on the car. It still started fine.
    As with a lot of button push security systems, the 4 keys were also the most worn, so you could take a stab at guessing the code anyway.
    Yes, but you could change your code (iirc)
    Yup! Roll back 17 years.. and E34s already had that! Blipper, key *and* code else scrote is walking home / nicking something else..

  • dandarez 28 Nov 2012

    Dave Hedgehog said:
    Steamer said:
    Lunablack said:
    So an average of 2.2 years each..... I'll bet most don't do 1 year...... That'll learn emrolleyes
    My thoughts exactly - Frickin' 'soft touch' Britain again.
    its a joke

    they will be straight back at it
    Exactly.
    So, they stole a million quids worth of vehicles (say they only made half of that, it's £50k each) and punishment is in reality locked-up B&B TV and pool for a few months, then back in business.

    Who are the fools? I think it is us who are imprisoned, not them!

    Sea change needed.

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