Two vehicles stolen during test drive

Police are appealing for witnesses after two vehicles were stolen from Newcastle during ‘test drives’.

On the first occasion, approximately 2pm on Thursday 9 January, a man was pulled from a blue Toyota Verso car, registration CV10 TPY, in Dartmouth Avenue in the Westlands area by a male offender.

The male victim sustained a broken collar bone and was treated at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

The vehicle was found abandoned in Birmingham on Friday 10 January after being involved in a collision. It displayed a different registration plate.

The offender is described as being of Asian or Middle Eastern appearance, 6ft 2in tall, of slim build and aged in his early 40’s. He was unshaven and spoke with a West Midlands accent. He was wearing a brown flat cap with a dark-coloured jacket and jeans.

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or has information, should contact the investigating officer, DC Liam Rider, on 101 quoting incident number 322 of January 9.

The above incident may be linked to a second vehicle theft on Saturday 11 January in Camborne Crescent, also on the Westlands,

At approximately 2.30pm a male offender asked to test drive a silver Mitsubishi Evolution, registration SP53 HWX. He stole the vehicle whilst the owner was gathering the vehicle’s documentation together.

The offender is described as Asian, 5ft 9in tall with a slim build and aged in his late 40’s. He had short, dark greying hair and spoke with a well spoken Asian accent. It is believed he was from the Birmingham area.

Inquiries have established the offender in this incident may have been in company with a male who was driving a grey-coloured Mercedes C63, partial registration of 09. The Mercedes had significant damage on one side and large Mercedes emblems displayed on the wheels.

Both vehicles left Camborne Crescent at speed, turning into Dartmouth Avenue.

The incident number for this matter is 471 of January 11.

DC Rider said: “We are appealing for witnesses to either incident to come forward with any information they may have.

“We are investigating the possibility the two incidents are connected and would encourage anyone who has been approached in a similar way by someone requesting a test drive to come forward.

“I would also like to remind people who advertise their cars for sale, either at a commercial premise or privately over the internet, to check the identification of any potential buyer prior to entering negotiations.
“People should be accompanied by someone else whilst conducting any test drive of their vehicle and they should never leave the keys in the ignition.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Rider at Staffordshire Police on 101 or independent charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.