In the latest installment of the ongoing saga of thieves versus Land Rovers, criminals in the UK have made off with two truckloads of engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant. The caper almost sounds as if it were scripted for film.
The value of the stolen goods is estimated at £3 million.
On the evening of Tuesday, January 31, using a truck that itself was suspected to be stolen, thieves simply drove in through a manned gate and hitched up to the first trailer containing the engines. That was hauled off site, and then sometime later, the audacious crooks returned for the second trailer. The heist occurred quickly and apparently with no drama. As for the Hollywood-esque nature of the plot, the thieves may have a sample roll to send their agents; the whole escapade was carried out in full view of security cameras.
Don’t expect police in the West Midlands to humor any of those silver-screen aspirations though. They are searching for clues to track down the gang that carried out the theft, and for now they are keeping the security footage under wraps. JLR is also offering a 'substantial reward' for any information leading to recovery of the engines.
It has also been reported that the thieves may have been able to obtain paperwork form the factory site in order to smooth their way on and off of the premises; all of which may point to an inside connection to the job.
The empty trailers were found located not far from the Solihull site where they were taken. There is no word from Land Rover on which type of engines were taken and whether the theft will have any significant affect on their production schedules.
Update: As of this writing, it has been announced that earlier this week, arrests were made and the engines recovered. Four men were apprehended in early morning raids at several locations, in Sutton Coldfield and Warwickshire. According to a police spokesperson, “This is a significant find and we continue to investigate the theft.”
Somewhat ironically, this latest theft is identical in execution to one that occurred several years ago, and after which its perpetrators were also arrested and convicted.
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