FORD CRISIS: THEFTS UP AS VALUES SOAR
What you can do to beat Blue Oval crimewave
New statistics released by an expert in vehicle crime prevention reveal that 40 classic Fords have been stolen in the UK this year – so far.
It’s thought that the Cortinas, Escorts and Sierras are being targeted to break for parts. Five valuable Fords were stolen in the south-east between 6 December 2015 to 9 January 2016, and a break-in at a yard in Grays, Essex resulted in a 1982 Cortina Crusader, a four door MkIII and a two door MkIII taken in early March.
Former Metropolitan Police officer and vehicle theft expert Dr Ken German says: ‘With these appreciating classics, they’re mainly stripped out for parts. Classics are harder to trace and easier to steal in comparison with older cars. Often they have no identification and no tracking devices.’
New statistics released by an expert in vehicle crime prevention reveals 40 classic Fords have been stolen in the UK this year.
Former Metropolitan Police officer Dr Ken German is the communications director of The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), the organisation for professionals involved in the prevention of vehicle crime.
He says: ‘Forty classic Fords – 25 years and older – have been stolen in Britain this year. With these appreciating classics, they’re mainly stripped out for parts. Classics are harder to trace, and easier to steal in comparison with older cars. Lots of them have no chassis numbers, no identification, and no tracking devices.
‘Thieves are using that to their own advantage. They’re fitting tracking devices to cars at car shows – they then know where the car is and how long it’s been stationary for.
Ken adds that the south-east is a hotspot. ‘This is probably due to the ease and speed at which vehicles can be moved out of the country to Europe and beyond. We’ve seen examples of cars reaching as far as Lithuania in 24 hours,’ he says.
In January, five Ford Cortinas were stolen from Kent and South London. The classic repmobiles were taken from 6 December 2015 to 9 January 2016. Three of the cars, two MkIIIs and a MkV, were from the same area in Kent.
A more recent example of Ford thefts in the south-east was a break-in at a yard in Grays, Essex. A 1982 one-owner-from-new Cortina Crusader, a four door MkIII and a two door MkIII were stolen in late February/early March. The 1982 Crusader was one of the last Cortinas ever made. The car belongs to Norman Armsby from Norfolk, who was having his car re-commisoned. A two-door MkIII was dumped a mile away from where it was stolen, after being torched. It’s thought the crooks set the classic on fire, as it would’ve been easy to trace because of several unique parts, including a BMW engine.
The MkI-V Cortina Owners’ Club has emailed its 200 members warning them to be vigilant and has posted notices on its Facebook page. All addresses have been removed from its website too. ‘It’s a real shame. We as a club are very worried. We’ve been advising people to be extra vigilant, and to visit their cars every day if the it isn’t at their house,’ says Darrel Tipping, vice-chairman. Murray Scullion Contact the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.