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Urgent warning: 240 thefts in south-east

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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 10:35   #11
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Originally Posted by foggyjames View Post
I don't make a habit of criticising the police, but what I've heard in this case has made me very angry indeed. Hopefully, if I give a few more details, you'll agree...

The owner has gone to considerable trouble to locate the car, and has almost certainly found a theft 'ring' in the process...and the police are uninterested in doing any more about it. The "new owner" was interviewed, claimed he bought this exceptionally tidy 240 in a pub for 100, and they won't even do him for handling stolen goods (something which initially didn't appear to have even occured to them). The VIN plate is missing...need we say more? There is allegedly a (locked) barn on site which locals have long suspected houses a collection of stolen classics for racing. They wouldn't even check VINs on the other cars (in various stages of preparation for racing) in the yard. It stinks of "couldn't care less". I understand there's prioritisation to be done, but they might as well have saved yet more time, and not bothered even showing up.

Furthermore, the (police) recovery agent pulled the stolen 240 onto the flatbed with only two wheels fitted (the other two were nearby, but the supervising officer said they couldn't be used, as there was no proof they were his), undoubtedly damaging the underside. The owner was charged (a not insignificant sum) for the privilege. While in plod's "care", it had the same treatment at the hands on the insurance company.

I have no axe to grind with the police (at all), but the owner has been badly let down on two fronts here. If it were me, I would be screaming blue bloody murder at my local constabulary. Now I wasn't going to mention all that, but since you brought it up...!


Write to the MP.
Write to the newspapers.
Car crime, on an old banger (i.e. any car more than 5 years old, in the eyes of the establishment), is not high priority. If the perpetrators are from the untouchable community, if you get my drift, resources slip away quickly.
I have had a car stolen like this, and I got it back after some effort. The desk officer thought it was probably stolen by someone trying to get home after a night out. He even laughed, saying only Ladas were unlikely to be stolen. Also wrong, most ended up going back to Russia as export.
Another friend had a semi derelict Westminster stolen from behind his house. Because it was not MOTd, it was simply viewed as scrap. NFA.
There are always thieves about in each community, stealing someone's new Kia is a pain but it can be replaced with another easily. A Rover P5/Westminster/Austin A60/Volvo etc is finite. When they are gone, they are gone.

Don't leave the car full of precious stuff ever, make friends with the local racers, and use the power of the media to create a stink if you are fobbed off.
Or give up and buy a Kia.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 10:43   #12
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Originally Posted by classicswede View Post
Just remember these guys will have a car trailer that they can load the car onto. Once they have got passed the steering lock the car is then easy to move. They don not care about what damage is done as they intend to destroy the car anyway.

I have read a couple of these stories and a few others in the past and the common theme is that the police do nothing and even when you have done the job of finding the car for them they still do not want to know.

I have experienced this myself more than once with hit and runs and even once I tracked down the other car involved they still took a hell of a lot of pressure to do anything.

Is it about time bangor racing cars must have a VIN plate and be checked before every race day?
It would be ideal if the ORCI, oval racing governing board, would act on this.
If a stolen car appears for scrutineering, the driver ( the bloke with his name painted all over it no doubt), should face immediate suspension from racing for that meeting and the Police be notified. If the vehicle proves to be stolen, this should then automatically extend to a ban of at least one year.
the phrase "Knowing or believing them to be stolen goods " springs to mind.
Vin plates are only riveted on, and the stamped numbers are welded away on the A post. Invisible , I'm afraid.
100 for a 240? pull the other one.

Last edited by heckflosse; Dec 2nd, 2013 at 10:46.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 12:11   #13
Stephen Edwin
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Classic Swede: "Is it about time bangor racing cars must have a VIN plate and be checked before every race day?"[

That sounds like a very good plan. Nothing is total security but if that were properly administered it would make life harder for thieves.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 12:20   #14
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Foggy, as you will have seen, I have a width of opinions re the police. And I respect that prioitising is tricky. But I disagree with their priorities on occasions.

I suspect re car theft, they get so much of it and especially perhaps from "communities difficult to deal with", that they might regard it often as a lot of bovver with little outcome? I suspect they reckon, just let the insurance pay?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 12:26   #15
Audrey Old
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Precisely my experiences BUT in my case they walked straight past my 240 as if they knew my non-injection 164 was locked in the adjacent garage. They broke the garage door down, smashed their way into the car, broke the steering lock (breaking the wheel in the process) and nicked it.
A contact from the banger-racers association spotted it half-in a barn on a farm so I told the Police, who weren't the least bit interested. They only came out when I said my rugby-player friends with a Transit and trailer would be with me when we reclaim it.
Then, after the farm owners son said he bought it at a pub for 80, I filled in the forms at the Police station, they had the utter gall to ring me up and say "as there was nothing in it for them, no further action". I said I bet I'd be nicked if a stolen bike was found in my garden, but they didn't react. Yet my son was arrested after being falsely accused of having stolen tools in his garage - he is a landscape gardener for heavens sake...... of course he has lots of tools. After 2 months case dismissed...... what a waste of time.
Its about time we got the "big-brother" attitude of the Police quashed nowadays, otherwise we will all continue to dislike some of their attitudes.

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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 14:52   #16
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Exactly Paul...if being reasonable fails advise police there's likely to be a breach of the peace when you attempt to retrieve your car with a group of your baseball bat wielding friends from the local Conservative Association!

However, going down the route suggested by my previous post seems a good idea (to me anyway)...let's give the issue some profile from forum members.

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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 16:14   #17
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My friend had a classic Mini stolen from his garage once about 20 years ago. What the thieves didn't know is that the wiring was being worked on and 5 miles later it burst into flames burning both the little scrotes inside very badly.

Anyway, got me thinking, maybe just forget about alarms and trackers (both of which are simple to bypass with some $5 bits from and implement an auto-destruct system. If you'll never see the car again, may as well.

(disclaimer: ^I'm only partially serious^)

More seriously though: instead of an alarm, why not a smoke generator capsule under the chassis or in the cabin? Very few people will ignore that. You CAN buy them legally in the UK too.

Sealed For Life Transmission: "The unit is sealed until it dies from dirty, old fluid which should have been replaced."
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 20:50   #18
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Maybe the club needs to get pro active with this and contact a few more classic clubs and together lobby the government with an online petition?
Ultimately having to race a car with a vin number would reduce the numbers. I do think the racers would get around it probably by cutting and stitching a known scrapped cars vin onto a stolen one,
What about our friend from Practical classics Keith moody who owned the 740turbo? I think he comes here selling the cars after using them as projects for the mag.

I am constantly asked if my old cars are for sale by so many people.quite how they know where they re kept is uncertain but I believe it to be word of mouth as we get a fair few customers where they are kept.
I look every morning to see if they are still there.
A simple cut out switch may stop some but if a few turn up they can push a car near enough to winch onto a trailer.
Very worrying times.
Only large numbers of enthusiasts will be heard especially if a few celebrities can be persuaded.

We have a very large number of members who no doubt would vote if we make this an onlinepetition.we should maybe post this in other sections for all to see.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 21:08   #19
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I have just sent him a message
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 21:09   #20
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As well as VIN plates are 240's not new enough to have the chassis number stamped into the panels in other places too?
Is there a 200 specific club/register anywhere? Its times like this i wish i was more computer savy, i've got the time just not the knowledge!

Also Foggy where did you find this additional info from, the Retro-Rides thread has been locked and the OP hasn't been back on here since the car was found, just curious thats all.

Wanted 240 parts: Front black hockey sticks
Saloon rear lights
Front suspension struts
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