Owner Left Vehicle Running for Minutes, Returns to Witness Opportunistic Theft

Car Theft Spree Strikes Devon Amidst Cold Snap

In a series of unfortunate events, Devon experiences a surge in car thefts, with victims falling prey to opportunistic thieves targeting vehicles left unattended during freezing temperatures.

Victim Describes Shocking Incident

Miles Key, a resident on the outskirts of Tedburn St Mary, Devon, recounts the distressing moment when his Peugeot 3008, left running for a brief period to de-ice, was stolen as he bid goodbye to his wife.

Spate of Thefts in Frosty Weather

Four vehicles, including Miles’s £8,000 company car, were stolen on a Tuesday morning as owners left them running unattended in an attempt to thaw out frost-covered windows.

A delivery van was also reported stolen while pulled over at the side of the road.

One Vehicle Located, Two Still Missing

In an ironic twist, one of the stolen cars, a red VW T-Roc, was found locked and abandoned in a recreation ground car park just 100 yards from the Keys’ home.

However, their own vehicle remains missing, with Miles and Louise suspecting an organized gang behind the theft.

Public Reports and Suspicious Activity

The Keys reveal that members of the public reported sightings of the stolen cars together, adding that a black BMW was in hot pursuit during the theft.

Louise highlights suspicious activity in their village and nearby areas, suggesting possible organized crime involvement.

Police Investigation and Recoveries

Police have launched an investigation into the spate of car thefts and have recovered three of the stolen vehicles. Enquiries are ongoing, with forensic examinations being conducted on the recovered cars.

Police Warning Amid Freeze

Devon and Cornwall police issue a warning to drivers, advising them against starting their cars and leaving them unattended during freezing weather.

Chief Insp Simon Jenkinson urges drivers not to leave vehicles running if unattended, emphasizing the risk of attracting thieves and potential legal consequences.

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