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East London criminal gang steal Havering 4x4s using iPads

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:17 23 September 2014

Gary Grimstead on his empty drive where his Range Rover was stolen from

Gary Grimstead on his empty drive where his Range Rover was stolen from

Archant

A criminal gang is stealing high-value 4x4s using laptops and iPads to break into them remotely before making a rapid getaway.

Since February four vehicles have been stolen at night from the driveways of Havering residents by gangsters parked nearby using state-of-the-art technology.

Victim, Gary Grimstead, 57, of Tyle Green, Emerson Park, woke up to the good news that his daughter had given birth but as he ran to his car to drive to the hospital, he found his £50,000 Range Rover had gone.

“That was the first I knew about it,” he said.

CCTV footage from his home in the early hours of May 26 showed the thief, believed to be from an east London gang, walk up to his car, open the door without a key and then use an iPad to start the engine.

“In less than a minute, the car was gone,” he said. “It makes you feel sick. I was really upset.”

Mr Grimstead was forced to spend the rest of the morning with the police rather than with his new grandchild.

Det Con Tara Wilson told the Recorder she believes that the gang switch the number plates and quickly take the stolen cars, worth up to £80,000, abroad to sell.

It is not understood how the technology works but the criminals may be sitting in cars nearby for a number of days trying to crack the 4x4s key codes electronically.

Mr Grimstead suspected that he had been followed in his car in the weeks leading up to the theft.

Det Con Wilson advised drivers to head to a 24-hour police station if they fear they are being followed or call 101.

She added: “If someone sees someone in a vehicle with a laptop or iPad acting suspiciously - be vigilant, they could be in the process of committing a crime.”

If you can help Det Con Wilson with her inquiries contact her at Havering CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Read more:

Havering people jailed for part in £1m car theft ring

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