Sim­ple de­vices

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - News -

THE de­vices look sim­ple enough – one is called a Le­gend and is a rec­tan­gu­lar plas­tic box, the other is a Turbo De­coder and looks like a sim­ple enough key.

But both were used in a six-fig­ure racket that saw dozens of stolen 4x4 ve­hi­cles brought to a break­ers’ yard in the For­est of Dean.

The de­coder gets the thief into the car while the Le­gend plugs into the ve­hi­cle’s di­ag­nos­tic sys­tem and al­lows the user to start the en­gine.

Both items can be bought on­line legally for a com­bined to­tal of £700.

“The tech­nol­ogy they are us­ing, we are aware of it. The way the thieves use it, we are aware of it – we know what is hap­pen­ing, but the art is stop­ping it,” said De­tec­tive Sergeant Harry Limer, who led the Glouces­ter­shire Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The op­er­a­tion tar­geted the ‘chop shop’ in Sling where of­fi­cers dis­cov­ered that more than £800,000 of stolen ve­hi­cles had en­tered the break­ers’ yard in just seven months.

The ve­hi­cles were mainly stolen from the front drive­ways of homes in sub­ur­ban ar­eas of Lon­don, Northamp­ton and Le­ices­ter be­fore be­ing driven to the se­cluded yard for re­sale or dis­man­tling for parts.

Four men be­hind the op­er­a­tion for 18 of the ve­hi­cles, worth up to £500,000, were yes­ter­day jailed for a com­bined to­tal of 14 years. An­other man re­ceived a sus­pended sen­tence.

Det Sgt Limer said: “Tech­nol­ogy is

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