A group of men are facing jail time after stealing £680,000 worth of luxury cars using high-tech equipment to disable the lock mechanism of expensive cars before stealing them and shipping them out of the country.


[tie_slide] Top left, Farasat Bhamjee, top right, Hassan Iqbal, bottom left, Adeel Arshad, bottom right, Ben Cooper | carthives2 [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Tracking device used by the gang | carthives3 [/tie_slide]

[tie_slide] Plug-in signal jammer used by the gang | carthives4 [/tie_slide]


Adeel Arshad, 29, Hassan Iqbal, 26, Farasat Bhamjee and Ben Cooper, 21, targeted wealthy car owners and used sophisticated technology to steal at least nine cars, including Range Rovers.

The gang would drive around looking for high-value vehicles and then following them until the owner parked up.

Once the owner had parked his car and left his vehicle, the gang would activate a remote jamming device to block the locking mechanism on the target vehicle.

The unsuspecting owner would walk away from the vehicle thinking the car is secure thinking they had locked it using the key fob.

The gang would then wait for a few minutes before entering the vehicle and using an onboard diagnostic device, connected to the vehicle’s computer, to create a new key code for a new key fob they had brought with them.

This allowed them to drive the vehicle away to a garage were they removed any tracking devices before preparing the vehicle for shipping out of the country.

Arshad, from Walthamstow, east London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.

Cooper, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, also admitted conspiracy to steal.

Iqbal, from Walthamstow, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to handle stolen goods but changed his plea to guilty at the start of the trial.

Bhamjee, also from Walthamstow, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to handle stolen goods after entering not guilty pleas.

During the trial the court heard how the group would only operate in areas of London were they were most likely to find more expensive vehicles.

Arshad, Iqbal and Bhamjee were all arrested after police spotted them in a stolen Range Rover.

Officers found Range Rover fobs, jammers and GPS ‘cloaking’ devices in a subsequent search of a garage run by Arshad and Bhamjee which uncovered the huge scale of the operation the thieves had been running.

Police also recovered four vehicles which were about to be exported to other countries from containers at Felixstowe and Southampton docks.

All four men will be sentenced on September 9.