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Goodmayes man and accomplice jailed for string of car thefts across Havering, Redbridge and Newham

PUBLISHED: 17:33 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:49 08 October 2018

Umar Haq (left) and Tahla Ahmed (right). Picture: Herts Police.

Umar Haq (left) and Tahla Ahmed (right). Picture: Herts Police.

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A Goodmayes man and his accomplice have been jailed for a combined total of almost seven years after targeting online car sellers across Havering, Redbridge and Newham to steal vehicles during a nine-month crime spree.

Umar Haq, 28, of Aberdour Road, and Tahla Ahmed, 22, of Steele Road, Tottenham, trawled online selling sites to target motorists by posing as prospective buyers.

Ahmed was charged with a long list of offences, including:

Conspiring with another to steal motor vehicles between May 5, 2017 and March 9, 2018.

Dangerous driving in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

Drove while disqualified in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

Drove without insurance in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

Failed to stop for a police officer in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes in Ilford on June 13, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes in Hornchurch on June 13, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes in Harrow on August 11, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes in Plaistow on September 12.

Stole a Mercedes in Wembley on October 3, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes at Hatfield on October 23, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes at Romford on November 27, 2017.

Stole a Mercedes at Watford on December 21, 2017.

Stole a VW Golf at Radlett on December 23, 2017.

Robbed a man of his Mercedes in Luton on October 4, 2017.

Robbed a man of his Mercedes in Borehamwood on December 14, 2017.

Robbed a man of his Mercedes at Hatfield on January 19, 2018.

Robbed a man of his Mercedes at Forest Gate on February 19, 2018.

Haq was charged with conspiring with another to steal motor vehicles between May 5, 2017 and March 9, 2018.

They both pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, September 27, and were sentenced at the same court the following day.

Ahmed also asked the court to take into consideration a further 25 offences.

He was sentenced to a total of 46 months in prison, ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and was banned from driving for 119 months and until an extended test is passed.

Haq was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.

Detective constable Matt Creese, who investigated, said: “Ahmed and Haq worked together to target people who were trying to sell their vehicles through online selling sites.

“They would pose as buyers, arrange to view the vehicles and when the owners were distracted they would drive off with the car leaving the owner at the roadside.

“Throughout this enquiry Hertfordshire Constabulary has worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and the investigation team has utilised social media to assist in identifying victims across the South East who had been targeted by the pair.

“The judge recognised the distress and financial loss Haq and Ahmed caused to a large number of victims and the significant sentences handed down reflects this.”

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