Theives target high-end BMWs

Millions of pounds worth of top-of-the-range BMWs have been stolen from driveways and car parks across Staffordshire and the West Midlands this year, police revealed today.

Millions of pounds worth of top-of-the-range BMWs have been stolen from driveways and car parks across Staffordshire and the West Midlands this year, police revealed today.

Criminals have swiped more than 160 of the vehicles in the region.

In some cases, organised gangs are believed to be using specialist technology to gain access to the cars.

But officers revealed they are cracking down on the latest crimewave and have made numerous arrests in recent months. And they are deploying specialist “capture cars” kitted out with hidden cameras in a series of sting operations designed to catch crooks red-handed.

Det Chf Insp Anthony Tagg from Force CID said: “In the vast majority of cases, criminals are gaining access by smashing a side window.”

Police say vehicles have been taken from areas including Lichfield, Cannock, Tamworth, Tipton, Warley, Smethwick, Sandwell and the wider West Midlands region since the beginning of the year.

Last month, an X6 was taken from Lawrence Way, Lichfield, while an M3 vehicle was taken from Barn Way, Cannock.

In some cases it is understood thieves are getting into the vehicles using signal equipment.

BMW spokesman Gavin Ward said today: “Vehicle theft is something all manufacturers have to contend with and the current BMW range meets or exceeds all current legislative criteria.”

Police want to hear from landlords who have been offered cash for short-term leases on industrial units where vehicles could be held.

Anyone with information can call police on 101.