Detectives have arrested and charged a man in connection with a series of vehicle thefts across the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Greater London areas.
The offences involve victims who have been attempting to sell their cars, which have been stolen by offenders posing as prospective buyers.
Talha Ahmed, aged 21, of Steele Road, London, has been charged with:
- Conspiracy to steal motor vehicles
- Dangerous driving
- Driving whilst disqualified
- Failing to stop for Police
He appeared at Hatfield remand court on Saturday, March 10.
Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following crime prevention advice when selling your vehicle:
- When taking a potential buyer on a test drive take someone else with you.
- Keep a charged mobile phone in your pocket in case you need to alert police.
- Stick to a route you know that is close to home and let others know the route you are taking and when to expect you back.
- If in any doubt do not allow anyone else to drive your vehicle.
- Make sure any test driver has a valid driving licence and suitable insurance cover. You could be liable for any accidents they may have.
- To avoid buyers being left alone (and potentially driving away) with your vehicle, keep hold of the keys at all times and avoid leaving them in the ignition.
- Ensure you have removed your house keys from your car keys.
- Never hand over the vehicle keys or documentation until your bank has confirmed the full value of the vehicle has cleared into your bank account.
- Never send money abroad.
- Never pay a large deposit.
- Don’t be pressured into releasing your vehicle – a genuine buyer will not mind waiting until the draft has cleared.
- Be careful about how you take payment:
Cash – ask for the cash to be handed to you in a bank, where the notes can be checked for forgeries and paid in immediately.
Cheques – never let the buyer take your vehicle until the funds have cleared in your bank account.
Bank drafts – are not as good as cash, so treat them in the way you would a personal cheque.
Online bank transfer is one of the safest ways to pay as it avoids handling large amounts of cash and the problems associated with cheques.