Thieves get a taste of their own medicine after a driver ‘steals’ his car using a little-known technique.
Joe Combs from Battersea woke up one morning to find his Land Rover Discovery missing and set off to get it back.
Joe saw his car parked less than two miles away and fitted with fake license plates
Joe understands that their app-based insurance policy comes with a GPS tracker that calculates your driving kilometers and bills you every month Photo Credit: Joe Combs
But after talking to police and turning on a criminal number and something else, he quickly realized he could get the car back using his smartphone.
Joe says: “My Land Rover Discovery Sport was parked in my usual place; a private car park is protected by a large black gate that is locked and controlled with a key code.
“I always assumed it was safe there. And when other similar cars were stolen on the road, I ignored the recommendations to get a steering wheel lock.
“It is common knowledge that Land Rover and Range Rover keyless entry vehicles are easy to steal. But you never think that will happen to you.
“I immediately called the police. They took my details, gave me a case number and made me feel like it was.
But it wasn’t until Joe phoned his insurance company about the theft that he realized things were going awry.
“A few years ago I changed insurance at Buy Miles. An insurance product where you only pay for the miles you drive.
“It turned out to be a very good decision when the lockdown came and we had nowhere to go.
“It simply came to our notice then.
Joe understands that their app-based insurance policy comes with a GPS tracker that calculates how many kilometers you drive and pays you every month.
It does not rate your driving style, only your distance and you can track all your rides through one app on your smartphone.
“I could see that my car was taken away at 4:34 in the morning and a mile away. Parked for 40 minutes. Run another mile. Parked
“It just kept going until it was parked 1.9 miles from home. And it hasn’t moved since.
“I called the police again. They told me to get my keys and get my car back. I thought they would go, but no, when I did it apparently it went fast.
“I came to the road indicated in the app and didn’t really expect to find my car. Around the corner, hidden under a large tree, was a blue Discovery Sport. As I approached, the license plates did not match mine and it had a broken wing mirror.
“However, it was unlocked when I used my keys.
“The engine started, my number plate was in the car and in addition to the wing mirror a few other minor scratches, gloves and door bug cleaning and the smell of cigarettes were all right.”
After a anxious wait for the police to arrive, fearing the thieves would return, Joe finally reunited with his car.
“The police arrived about 30 minutes later. They checked the car. They drove my car plates – they were for another Blue Discovery Sport (not reported stolen).
“They even had a branded dealer Lucars Land Rover like me!”
After swapping his number plates, Joe went straight to Halford and bought a steering wheel lock.