BMWs, Range Rovers and hundreds of bikes snatched from suburban driveways found in containers bound for Kenya and Cyprus.BMWs, Range Rovers and hundreds of bikes stolen from suburban driveways have been found in containers bound for Kenya and Cyprus.
Hundreds of vehicle parts – some of which appear to belong to 12 BMWs reported as stolen from east London – were found in containers at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk.
Five Land Rover Range Rovers were also discovered in storage units destined for Kenya after they were believed stolen from Surrey, South Woodford and Islington,
The cars and vehicle parts, including engines, would have been further exported to other countries to be sold, according to officers from Operation Endeavour.
No arrests have been made in relation to the containers which were examined as part of an operation with ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) and inquiries are ongoing.
But officers have arrested 84 people, including 16 on suspicion of motor vehicle theft, as part of a nationwide clampdown on stealing keyless vehicles using a device which bypasses the electronics.
They seized 222 vehicles yesterday across the country as part of Operation Endeavour for offences including possession of offensive weapons, burglary, money laundering and driving while disqualified.
Detective Chief Superintendent Carl Bussey, lead for Operation Endeavour, said: ‘We began opening the containers on Tuesday. They are so jammed with cars and vehicle parts that we are still extracting the contents.
‘In one container, bikes, also believed stolen, were packed around vehicle parts to disguise the true contents of the container from any inspectors.
‘I launched Operation Endeavour by emphasising the need for drivers to secure their vehicles in order to try and prevent keyless vehicle theft.
‘This, combined with the joint enforcement work with our colleagues in the Home Counties and AVCIS, will help us reduce vehicle theft and arrest the organised criminals behind it.’
Detective Inspector Wayne Cooke, of AVCIS, said: ‘AVCIS has been supporting our Metropolitan Police Service colleagues with our ports intelligence unit staff identifying opportunities for examining and recovering vehicles and vehicle parts stolen through keyless methods.
‘As part of this campaign we have successfully disrupted a number of high value vehicles heading to overseas countries.
‘Recovering vehicles such as these in Operation Endeavour offers opportunities for further investigation with particular emphasis in tackling organised crime groups involved in vehicle criminality.
‘This sends the clearest message to criminals that agencies are working.’
Around 800 officers from the MPS, Kent, Essex, Hampshire, Surrey and Thames Valley Police services monitored 20 main roads across the country as part of the operation.
They arrested 16 people for theft of motor vehicles and a further 68 for offences including possession of offensive weapons, burglary, money laundering and driving while disqualified