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Officers from the Rochdale Neighbourhood Task Force, working alongside West Yorkshire Police, have made an arrest in connection with a number of vehicle thefts across Greater Manchester.
Five vehicles have been taken from both car garages and individuals since December last year, as well as a number of tools.
On Monday 7 December 2020, a man attended a car dealership in Wigan to purchase a Hyundai. He showed a member of staff his phone to demonstrate funds had been transferred via online banking for the purchase, however upon checking the account after the man had left, the funds had not been received.
On Monday 8 March 2021, a man attended an address in Wythenshawe to purchase a BMW. He presented the owner with some ID, claiming to be an officer for British Transport Police. He agreed to buy the BMW after a test drive, and showed the owner of the car his phone to demonstrate that funds had been transferred via online banking and left. However the funds never appeared in the owner's account.
On Tuesday 6 July a man attended an address in Heywood in order to look at a Ford Transit van he said he wanted to buy. The man then pushed past the owner of the van, grabbed the keys from the kitchen and drove away.
A week later, on Tuesday 13 July, a man attended an address in Bolton and purchased a Ford Transit van, promising to transfer the funds via online banking once he had returned home. The funds never arrived.
On Saturday 7 August a man attended an address in Stockport, responding to an advert online selling some tools. The man made payment via his online banking app, but again the funds didn't arrive.
Just after midday the following day, officers in West Yorkshire stopped a vehicle on the outskirts of Bradford. Following a search, they found a number of power tools inside, believed to have been stolen.
A 20-year-old man has been arrested, and currently remains in custody for questioning.
21 power tools have been recovered.
Inspector Andy Fern from the Rochdale Neighbourhood Task Force said: "This is just one example of our continuous commitment to tackling prolific vehicle crime across our district, and across Greater Manchester. Working with partners and colleagues in neighbouring forces, we will continue to work to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
"A lot of the work we do to tackle the issue may not be visible, but catching those responsible remains a priority. Cars are of both great value and sentimental value to some people and we understand that having a car stolen can have a huge impact both financially and emotionally.
"We will continue to work to bring offenders to justice, but I would ask that the public help us to help them by following our simple advice - do not leave your car keys on show or where they can easily be reached when at home, always keep your windows and doors locked and for anyone who has a steering lock, I would encourage you to use it.
"There are also other ways to help keep your car safe, such as investing in a tracking device.
"Anyone with information about car thefts or anyone who believes suspicious activity is taking place at premises' can contact us using LiveChat on our website www.gmp.police.uk, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111."