Ar­rests in car crime crack­down

Solihull News - - IT TALK - JOSH LAYTON josh. [email protected] reach­plc. com

A MA­JOR crack­down on the epi­demic of car crime in the West Mid­lands has led to po­lice mak­ing al­most 600 ar­rests in a mat­ter of weeks.

The fig­ures have been re­leased af­ter the Birm­ing­ham Mail re­vealed car­jack­ers and thieves steal­ing to or­der made as lit­tle as £ 200 per ve­hi­cle.

David Jamieson, the West Mid­lands Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner, has led a cam­paign to re­duce rates of mo­tor theft af­ter they hit a three- year high.

The ar­rests by West Mid­lands Po­lice are part of Op­er­a­tion Can­til, pre­dom­i­nantly en­forced by the Roads Polic­ing team, to tackle or­gan­ised ve­hi­cle crime and car key bur­glary.

“We have seen, over the past three years, car thefts al­most triple in the West Mid­lands,” said Com­mis­sioner Jamieson. “The tough ac­tion West Mid­lands Po­lice has been tak­ing has re­sulted in 590 ar­rests in just a mat­ter of weeks.

“Car theft has be­come an epi­demic in the West Mid­lands. There are or­gan­ised crim­i­nals who are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the lack of se­cu­rity in ve­hi­cles and the ease of ac­ces­si­bil­ity to pur­chase writ­ten- off cars which are fu­elling so called ‘ chop shops’.

“Some of these ‘ chop shops’ are mak­ing mil­lions of pounds each year.

“I look for­ward to see­ing more ar­rests and more ac­tion in the com­ing months to tackle this prob­lem.”

Car­jack­ers and thieves hack­ing se­cu­rity sys­tems or steal­ing keys are be­ing paid as lit­tle as £ 200 for the high- end ve­hi­cles they are steal­ing.

Or­gan­ised crime gangs mak­ing mil­lions of pounds are then ‘ chop­ping up’ and sell­ing on the cars, which are stolen by thieves as young as 15.

Some have been ‘ stolen to or­der’, with brands such as Audi, BMW and Ford be­ing most com­monly tar­geted. The po­lice fight­back also in­cludes ef­forts to break up ‘ chop shops’, the name given to il­licit garages in back streets or in­dus­trial es­tates that use spares to fix write offs that are then sold on through eBay, Gumtree, Au­to­trader or other sites.

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