Thief Steals Cars On Test Drives

Police in Southampton are investigating a string of car thefts which they think are connected.

In all three cases the man who is thought to be responsible has been described as white, tall, slim, in his 50s or 60s and having a Scottish accent.

In two of the cases he stole cars while taking them for a test drive and in the third he sold on a stolen vehicle and then sent a text to the new unsuspecting ‘owner’ and told them it was dodgy and to get rid of it.

The most recent known incident happened on August 30 at around 10.30am when a green VW Passatt Estate (S352 VKJ) was stolen from Ken Smith Car Sales in Britannia road.

The man had asked for a test drive and as the salesman went to lock his office to go with him the man drove off in the car and did not return. 

Previous to that, on August 15 a man of almost exactly the same description went into Parkside Garage on St James Road in Shirley and test drove a Hyundai.

He returned this and then test drove a Rover 25 (WF52 UHA) but did not come back with the vehicle. The car was worth around £1200.

In the early evening on August 11 a Vauxhall Astra was stolen when a man of the same description took it one a test drive from a private seller in Blandford Forum, Dorset.

He didn’t return however instead he drove to Southampton where as the vehicle had the log book inside he sold it to an unsuspecting car dealer in Shirley.

The next day the car dealer received a text telling him the car was dodgy and to get rid of it. He then did a check on the vehicles history and found it had been stolen and reported it to the police.

Officers say all three incidents appear to be linked and are very keen to hear from anyone else who thinks they may have come across the man or may know who he is.

Anyone with information about the incidents or knows where the two still missing stolen vehicles are is asked to contact PC Kelly Sanders at Shirley Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.