Warning Over Car Buying Scam

15 June 2011, 10:24 | Updated: 15 June 2011, 10:29

Police in Southampton and the New Forest area are advising people to be cautious when selling their cars.

It’s after three cases in the past few months where relatively expensive cars have been stolen by a bogus buyer who grabs his chance while viewing or test driving a car being sold privately to steal it.

In the latest incident a 38-year-old Burseldon man advertised his car in Auto Trader magazine and received a call from a man who said he was called Jay who wanted to view his black Audi Q5 worth around £32k.

They met near the victim’s work place in Regents Park Road, Southampton at around 12.40pm Monday, June 13 and the man took the car for a test drive and negotiated a price. He then said he wanted to test it again and as the victim walked around to the passenger’s side to get in he sped off with the car towards Millbrook Road West.

The car’s registration number is DE59 XGY and the man who stole it is described as: Asian in appearance, aged in his late 20s and of slim build and wearing a blue stone island jacket and black pin-stripped trousers and a large faced gold watch. He said he was from Bedford.

Officers are looking into whether the incident is linked with two other similar incidents that happened in the New Forest area.

One was on May 11 when an  Audi Q7 was taken in a very similar way when a men came to test drive a car that had been advertised in Auto Trader by a man with who was described as Asian, called John and from Maidstone. He was around 5ft 7inches tall and in his late 20s. It happened at the Rushington Business Park in Totton.  

The other case happened in Fordingbridge on March 26. A VW Golf was advertised in Auto Trader and stolen during a test drive. The thief said he was called Sunny and was from London. He is described as Asian in his late 20s and about 5ft 8inches tall and slim.

Officers are advising to be extra careful when meeting any prospective buyers and especially during potential test drives and be mindful that this kind of crime can happen. The advise is to meet where there are other people or CCTV and don’t not leave the person in the car on their own.

Officers are also asking for anyone with information about any of these crimes to get in touch with them. They should call the Vehicle Crime Unit at Lyndhurst Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers  anonymously on 0800 555 111.