London car theft victim missed birth of daughter because of 'horrendous' BMW scam

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Victims of a scam run out of a London BMW dealership today told how the “horrendous breach of trust” had turned their lives upside down.

Michael Daniels, former head of sales at BMW Berry in Chiswick, kept spare keys to sold cars and handed them to accomplice Alex Tingle, 28, with the buyers’ home address.

Tingle and a third man would then go and steal the newly sold vehicles, getting away with luxury cars worth £210,000 in just three months. Isleworth crown court heard one victim, Robert Mitchell, missed the birth of his daughter because his car had been stolen and he could not get to the hospital on Christmas Eve.

Another, Numan Hashim, said the sale of his house fell through after the buyer found out about the car theft on a crime database.

Mr Hashim told the Standard he had bought a £16,000 BMW 1-series for his wife just before Christmas in 2015 but had to fly to Pakistan at short notice.The vehicle was delivered to his house in south-west London without a spare key, held back at the dealership for “safekeeping” until his return.

Soon after returning to the UK he realised the car had vanished. He said: “At first I thought my wife had taken it, but she was still at home and the key was still there. We started to panic.

“I called the showroom and spoke to the director before even making a call to the police. He checked and said the spare key was still there. But when the insurance company became involved they said they couldn’t find it.”

The family put their home up for sale in March and had attracted an offer when the buyer contacted them to ask about the theft. 

Mr Hashim said: “I’m there on the crime map as the car having been stolen. I had to say what had happened. The offer was pulled.”

Daniels, 40, from Ashford, Surrey, was jailed for five years and three months on Friday for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles between December 2015 and February last year. Judge Simon Davis told him he was guilty of a “horrendous breach of trust” that had “real repercussions” for the victims.

Tingle, from Ealing, admitted conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and was jailed for two years.

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