Man arrested as cars and tools are stolen from Wigan and Greater Manchester
Five vehicles have been taken from both car garages and individuals since December, as well as a number of tools.
A 20-year-old man has now been arrested and remains in police custody for questioning.
The first incident happened on Monday, December 7, when a man went to a car dealership in Wigan to buy a Hyundai. He showed a member of staff his phone to demonstrate funds had been transferred via online banking for the purchase, but they discovered afterwards that the money had not been received.
On Monday, March 8, a man tried to buy a BMW in Wythenshawe. He presented the owner with ID, claiming to be an officer for British Transport Police, and agreed to buy the BMW after a test drive. He showed the owner of the car his phone to demonstrate that funds had been transferred via online banking and left, but again the money was not paid.
A man went to a property in Heywood on Tuesday, July 6 to look at a Ford Transit van he said he wanted to buy. He then pushed past the owner of the van, grabbed the keys from the kitchen and drove away.
A week later, on Tuesday, July 13, a man went to an address in Bolton and bought a Ford Transit van, promising to transfer the funds via online banking once he had returned home. The funds never arrived.
On Saturday August 7, a man went to Stockport responding to an advert online selling tools. The man made payment via his online banking app, but again the funds did not arrive.
Just after noon the following day, police officers in West Yorkshire stopped a vehicle on the outskirts of Bradford. They found a number of power tools inside, which were believed to have been stolen.
Insp Andy Fern ,from 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."
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