‘Pro­fes­sional’ thieves caught on CCTV in spate of BMW at­tacks

Ex­clu­sive

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Ai­dan Barlow

Footage has re­vealed how two brazen thieves turned off a car’s alarm sys­tem, broke into the car, and stole a steer­ing wheel and on-board com­puter while it was parked on a drive­way.

BMW own­ers in the God­in­ton Park area of Ash­ford re­ported a spate of sim­i­lar in­ci­dents in just 48 hours this week, and po­lice say sim­i­lar thefts have hap­pened across Kent.

Among the own­ers af­fected was Steve Christo­pher, whose CCTV cam­eras recorded the thieves calmly tak­ing apart his car in the early hours of Mon­day.

He said: “You work so hard and have a nice car, only for some­one to come along and rip it all out. The cost is not just fi­nan­cial, it’s emo­tional, it is hor­rific.

“I had every­thing stolen. I watched two hours of footage of them break­ing into the car, and I’ve seen ex­actly how they have done it.

“It shows how pro­fes­sional they are and how or­gan­ised this is. They squirted ex­pand­ing foam into the back of the ve­hi­cle to stop noise com­ing from the alarm and had spe­cially de­signed bags to cover the warn­ing lights on the wing mir­rors.

“They cut all the ca­bles at the front of the car and then pro­ceeded to drill into the lock. Within 20 min­utes they had got every­thing they wanted.”

Mr Christo­pher, who has lived in God­in­ton Park for 11 years, said sim­i­lar re­ports on Mon­day night could have a knock-on ef­fect for res­i­dents’ car and home in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums.

He added: “From the footage you see how cool th­ese peo­ple are. They are wear­ing masks and gloves, so this is pro­fes­sional or­gan­ised crime.

“That’s the scary thing about it, the brazen­ness. They saw my cam­eras but they didn’t even flinch. They didn’t re­ally care and look as though they think they are un­touch­able.”

The po­lice say they are urg­ing BMW own­ers to be vig­i­lant af­ter the crimes in Sweet Bay Cres­cent and Spindle­wood End.

Sgt Jas­mine Bloom­field said: “Sim­i­lar thefts have been re­ported in north and west Kent and we will be work­ing closely with our col­leagues in other ar­eas so that we can iden­tify the cul­prits as swiftly as pos­si­ble.

“We also urge car own­ers in the God­in­ton Park area, par­tic­u­larly those with BMWs, to park their cars in a well-lit place, on a drive­way or in a garage overnight if pos­si­ble.”

‘You work so hard and have a nice car, only for some­one to come and rip it all out’

Pic­ture: Steve Christo­pher

Thieves in­spect what’s in­side the BMW with a torch; one breaks the lock, while his ac­com­plice cov­ers up the car lights be­fore steal­ing items in­side, in­clud­ing the steer­ing wheel

Pic­ture: Steve Christo­pher

Dam­age shows the on-board com­puter and sat­nav ripped out

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