Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Car crook caught after he calls 999 over stolen wheels Nicked high-end vehicles found in rental firm boss’s garage in £700k plot

Chirag Patel kept stolen cars (right) in basement at his home. Police found them after he reported Porsche theft .
A CROOKED businessman who reported the theft of his Porsche was caught red-handed when police turned up at his home — and discovered he was hiding 19 stolen cars.
Chirag Patel, 39, at first resisted giving officers his address when he rang, instead providing details of where his parents lived.
But when police called at his property as part of their investigation they found a number of high-end vehicles stored in the basement car park.
Patel used the stolen cars, which included a Porsche Cayenne, two Range Rovers and a Mercedes C-Class Coupe, in the running of an ‘off-the-books’ business where cars were rented out to other criminals, a court was told.
Patel, of Croydon, south London, was jailed for eight years for conspiracy to handle stolen goods and given a concurrent three-year sentence for possession of criminal property.

Outside court, acting Det Sgt Billy Clough said: ‘Patel played the leading role in a sophisticated operation to handle high-value, stolen vehicles, motivated only by sheer greed.
‘He attempted to convince the jury that he was a legitimate businessman who had simply been unlucky in obtaining such a vast quantity of stolen items, but the jury saw through this and convicted him of being the key player in a significant criminal enterprise.’ During the investigation, officers recovered 26 sets of car keys, lists of vehicles and registrations, machines for accessing on-board computers, programming keys and mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
A total of 19 stolen vehicles valued at £728,000 were linked to Patel and seized, along with nine sets of keys that had been stolen from Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, West Midlands.
The cars had been stolen by unknown individuals during burglaries and keyless thefts across London between October 2012 and January 2015, Croydon crown court was told. Five cars had false number plates and one had a personalised plate — identical to that on a vehicle officers spotted outside Patel’s parents’ address.
Patel also had £440,000 of unexplained cash deposits from two personal bank accounts in his name. The identities of the cars were concealed using legitimate insurance details of vehicles which had been written off and stored at addresses owned by Patel and other associates.
Patel, who had denied the charges, was convicted after a five-week trial.

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