Two men who stole Range Rover from Knowle driveway handed suspended jail sentence - The Solihull Observer

Two men who stole Range Rover from Knowle driveway handed suspended jail sentence

Solihull Editorial 20th Aug, 2018   0

TWO MEN who stole a solicitor’s £75,000 Range Rover from outside his Solihull home and managed to remove the tracker device were caught – because they left it in their own car.

The pair ended up being tracked themselves, and were arrested by surprised police officers who had been expecting to find the Range Rover rather than the thieves’ BMW.

At Warwick Crown Court, Laith Khan, aged 33, of Park Road, Sparkhill, and Atiq Rahman, aged 31, of Medlicott Road, Sparkbrook, admitted stealing the Range Rover and going equipped for theft.

Following an adjournment for reports to be prepared on them, they were both sentenced to 19 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

In addition, Judge Peter Cooke ordered each of them to pay £750 compensation to the owner and £535 costs.

Prosecutor Ian Ball said the owner of the £75,000 Range Rover Evoque, a solicitor, had left it parked on the drive of his home in Wychwood Avenue in Knowle during January last year.

Shortly after midnight he was alerted by the tracker company that something was amiss.

When he looked out of the window he realised it had gone, even though the key was still in the house, so the police were contacted.

The alert had come within minutes of the Ranger Rover being taken, and the tracker signal led the police to Berry Hall Lane, just over two miles away.

Rather than the Range Rover, the signal was coming from a BMW registered to Khan – and when they stopped it and arrested the two men, they found the tracker, which had been removed from the car.

Also in the BMW, the officers discovered various pieces of equipment including a key programmer, Range Rover key fobs, and a single false number plate.

The Range Rover was recovered 14 hours later in Riverside Drive, Solihull, after a resident had seen it and, realising it had been stolen because of damage, had contacted the police.

The damage had been caused when the tracker was removed, and one number plate had been replaced with a false plate which matched the one found in Khan’s BMW, added Mr Ball.

Referring to pre-sentence reports on the two defendants, their barrister Sukhdev Garcha said: “It seems they have shown genuine empathy and remorse, and they acknowledge the owner must have worked hard to get such a vehicle.”

He said Khan had become involved because of pressure he was under over a gambling debt, but he now had employment earning £420 a week, and was paying off the debt.

In relation to the report on Rahman, Mr Garcha said: “He did not try to blame anyone else, and set out how he came to be involved. The author of the report believes he is easily influenced and a vulnerable adult.

“He previously had drug issues, but he’s turned his life around. He is working part-time because he has to have the care of his parents.”

Sentencing Khan and Rahman, Judge Cooke told them: “This is a serious offence, a car stolen from the drive of an industrious man, and it was done with a level of sophistication.

“I accept you were provided with the materials by another who had commissioned you to commit the offence.

“Each of you has made determined efforts since this offence to get your lives back on a law-abiding track, and each of you has a caring role for elderly or infirm parents.”

Suspending the sentences, the judge warned: “It’s been a close-run thing. You will not be given another chance like this. I reserve any breach to myself, and if you and I meet again, you won’t like the result.”

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