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Stupid Case File for April 4, 2007

Nicked in 15 minutes

Thanks again to our friends David & Sue for the story!
Courtesy of Cambridge News

A THIEF who tried to make a quick getaway in a stolen car was arrested in record time.

The owner of a brand new Volkswagen Passat reported his car stolen from outside a takeaway restaurant in Mill Road, Cambridge, at 2.12am. Officers spotted the car in Babraham and had made an arrest by 2.30am.

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire police said: "For that kind of crime it must be the fastest arrest we've ever made."

The owner had left the keys in the ignition and the engine running, allowing the thief to speed away, but police were soon on the case through a combination of skill and luck.

Two officers on patrol in High Street, Babraham, pulled over the Passat when they saw it being driven erratically, only to hear over their radios that it had been reported stolen.

Sgt Mark Rabel, who made the arrest, said: "It is very good when things come together like that.

"I stopped the vehicle because I wasn't happy with the way in which it was being driven. Then city officers made us aware over the radio that a car with the same description had been reported stolen.

"There was good fortune involved and also good policing.

It was proactive policing that the city officers put the information out over the radio quickly and also that we were out and about looking for suspicious activity."

It could have been a disastrous evening for the Passat owner.

The car was so new that he could not even remember the registration number when he reported it stolen to police.

Though this incident ended happily, Sgt Rabel warned drivers to be careful with their keys.

He said: "To leave your car with its engine running is not only an offence, it is a serious mistake."

A 32-year-old man from Cambridge was arrested and charged with the theft in connection with the incident.


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