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31 August 2012, 11:33
Police patrols have been increased after a man was caught stealing parts from vehicles parked at Milton Keynes Central rail station.
A quick-witted car owner found the thief selling his own stolen valance on an internet auction site and alerted British Transport Police (BTP) officers, who arrested him and launched an investigation.
Adam Jones, 21, of Cromwell Avenue, Newport Pagnell, was fined after being convicted of two counts of theft from a motor vehicle in May and June 2012.
He was fined £55 for each offence and ordered to pay £85 costs when sentenced by magistrates.
The court heard how he would enter the multi-storey car park on Elder Gate and remove vehicle parts including rear grills, light covers and valance panels.
He would then later put them online in a bid to make money. One of the victims searching the online marketplace discovered a valance Jones had put online and bought it for £22.21.
When he collected it and tried to fit it to his own vehicle, he discovered it was the very car part that had been stolen from him in the first place.
BTP officers were informed and Jones was arrested on suspicion of theft and later charged with two offences.
Inspector Neil Ketley, based at Milton Keynes BTP police station, said: "This conviction shows that those who think they can get away with stealing parts from people's vehicles will not be tolerated.
"Patrols have since been stepped up by BTP officers at the station and around the car park, as well as online, and if anyone else is thinking about doing something similar, let this be a warning that we will track you down and do everything we can to bring you to justice."
A London Midland spokesperson said: "We are pleased that this offender has been brought to justice. We will continue to maintain security in the car park with current measures, which include hourly checks and undercover operations, to ensure that passengers can continue to park their vehicles there in confidence."