FORD CRISIS: THEFTS UP AS VAL­UES SOAR

What you can do to beat Blue Oval crime­wave

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

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.

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