Anyone selling a car is being reminded to be cautious when taking a potential buyer on a test run following an incident over the border in Surrey on Sunday (January 8).
A man selling a car on behalf of a friend which had been advertised for sale was left stunned after an interested buyer stole it from under his nose.
The car, a black Vauxhall Corsa, had been advertised on Auto Trader and had attracted a large amount of interest before the test drive was arranged.
The seller arranged to meet the suspect just before 4pm. They arranged to take the car for a test drive, with the seller in the driving seat. Shortly afterwards they agreed to swop over and while they were changing seats, the suspect jumped in the driver’s seat and drove off with the vehicle.
The car is described as a black Vauxhall Corsa Excite model, registration number LD64 ZGW. As well as having an Excite badge on the passenger side, it also has eight spoke silver alloys, a tinted rear quarter light, a “Now Vauxhall” sticker on the rear window and a Yankee candle air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. It is described as being clean and tidy and in good order.
The suspect is described as white, in his 40s-50s, around 6ft tall, and wearing a dark blue or black tracksuit with the bottoms being much lighter in colour.
PC Dan Cusack, who is investigating the incident, said: “The victim was selling the car on behalf of a friend who is away in Australia pursuing a job opportunity. He has arranged to meet the interested buyer in good faith but has unfortunately fallen victim to his plan to steal the car.
“The public are reminded that whilst this type of theft is rare in Surrey, they should remain vigilant when meeting strangers, even if it is to arrange an online sale of a car or Ebay item. It is best to do this with a friend and meet the purchaser in a well-lit and busy location. It is recommended to seek the purchaser’s identity, including name and address, and confirm their contact details before allowing them to test drive the vehicle.
“In the meantime I am making a number of enquiries in relation to this latest incident and would like to appeal to anyone with any information to get in touch with me as soon as possible.”
If you can help, please call Surrey Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 45170002483 or use the online reporting system found at http://www.surrey.police.uk/
Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.