Two Lithuanian criminals who stole high-value cars from Harpenden and St Albans were jailed for five years today (Tuesday, October 27).
Mindaugas Bazuilis, 35, and Edgaras Rusteikas, 33, travelled from London to steal Range Rovers and Land Rovers from driveways.
Prosecutor Neil King told St Albans crown court that the pair were caught “red handed” when they were stopped in a silver Audi in the early hours of December 4 last year.
In the boot of the Audi the police found a silver metal box with eight rubber antenna 8 that screw into the top. “That device is a frequency jammer. It can jam car tracking signals,” said Mr King.
He said the pair had discovered a method of entering keyless cars and stealing them.
On one of three mobile phones that officers found in the Audi they found what Mr King said was a “car thief’s homework.”
He said: “It was page after page of marked locations. Somebody was preparing for car thefts.”
Mindaugas Bazuilis, 35, of Blackbush Spring, Harlow and Edgaras Rusteikas, 33, of Gay Gardens, Dagenham denied conspiracy to steal, with others unknown, between November 11 and December 5 last year. They were convicted by the jury.
Opening the case, Mr King said: “This is a case about the sophisticated theft of keyless cars.
“The prosecution say the defendants targeted high value motor cars that all rely on keyless technology.
“They were stolen off the driveways of addresses in Hertfordshire. No one entered houses to steal keys.”
Mr King said Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) led the police to identify the Audi the men were using to get to the scene of six car thefts.
Mr King said the police analysed ANPR technology and saw a pattern that linked the Audi to the thefts.
It was often in the area before and after the cars were taken. A ‘stop marker’ was put on the Audi on the police national computer.
At 1.30 in the morning on December 4 it was seen on the A1M near South Mimms and was stopped on the northbound carriageway.
Both men were arrested – Rusteikas was driving and Bazuilis was in the front passenger seat.
Three phones were seized along with the cash and jammer.