The “Tech Man” in a conspiracy to steal over £400,000 worth of high-value cars was jailed for 30 months on Friday, September 17.
Mirza Sadiq, 39, was involved in the theft of 11 Range Rovers and a Mercedes from addresses in St Albans, Luton, Radlett and London.
Prosecutor Francis Gaskin told St Albans Crown Court that Sadiq, from Harpenden, played a “pivotal role” in a “sophisticated operation.”
He said Sadiq knew how to “spoof” the system on keyless Range Rovers.
“He used the electronic equivalent of a master key which had been sold and advertised for legitimate purposes for someone who cannot unlock the vehicle.
“A GPS blocking device was put in the vehicle during the theft that had the effect of jamming signals to prevent it being traced and followed,” said the prosecutor.
Sadiq had also installed his own tracker devices on the cars that were targeted. It allowed him and his fellow conspirators to locate the vehicles when they were parked later. “The purpose was to locate the vehicle late at night when people were asleep and can be stolen at their convenience,” he said.
Text messages found on Sadiq’s phone referred to him making up number plates.
Sadiq, of Prospect Lane, Harpenden, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal between February 2019 and March this year.
Defending, Tim Hunter said he was of previous good character and carried out charity work for UKIM – the UK Islamic Mission. He said there was no evidence of him living a lavish lifestyle.
In a basis of plea Sadiq said he was only paid per car.
Jailing him, Recorder Hodge Malek QC said: “You were the tech man – helping to steal the cars.”
He said Sadiq had devoted his life to helping other people and said he found it hard to understand how he had got himself involved.