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High-end car thefts prompt police raids in Essex

12 March 2020

About 450 police officers took part in raids as part of an investigation into thefts of high-end cars worth a total of up to £4m. More than 20 properties were raided in Essex and in London at dawn on 27 February. Essex Police said 12 arrests were made,15 stolen vehicles found and £90,000 seized.

The operation was carried out by Essex Police working with the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police. It followed an investigation into the thefts of about 90 cars since November 2018.

Raids were carried out in the Chelmsford, Braintree, Southend, Basildon, Uttlesford and parts of London.

Acting Superintendant Lewis Basford said they had been “targeting a specific group that had been offending, taking high-end value vehicles”. The police seized high-tech equipment used to steal vehicles without a key.

“We believe this gang are responsible for the theft of vehicles from across the whole of Essex, London and car parks linked to the British Transport Police, particularly high-end Range Rovers and sports cars,” he said. “The offences that we believe the group are responsible for involved using technology using keyless entry... and equipment used to automatically start a vehicle without the key being present in the offender’s hand.”

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