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Stolen Classics - Your Experiences


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#1 CCX

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:15 PM

I'm writing an article currently for my uni course looking at the rise in classic car thefts and how it affects people. Because I used to own a Mini I know how attached we get to our cars, and the threat of having mine stolen was always a terrifying thought. Have any of you had a Mini - or any car which meant a lot to you - stolen - and how did it affect you? I would really appreciate it if you could share the emotions you went through. To many people cars are just transportation devices, so I want to raise awareness of just how emotionally involved we get with our cars. 

 

Please feel free to move this by the way if it's not in the right subforum.



#2 1968cooper

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 03:45 PM

Six years ago I purchased had a Land Rover 90 pickup from a niebour it had an engine problem regarding cooling system pressurising. I completely stripped and rebuilt the engine replacing pistons/bearings/valves spent a fortune but problem persisted. Had the engine out and stripped down twice before resolving, turned out to be a hairline crack in cylinder wall only visible when heat applied with a blowtorch. 

Once sorted I went to town on this car constructed a special unique top which retained the pickup cab with a modified hard top back and rear door, Although I say so myself it looked great.

After all new wheels/tyres/brakes and back from a new mot road tax and a full tank of fuel, I parked it locked on my drive.

Following morning GONE I was completely devastated I had spent all my spare time over the previous two years working on this car, representing hundreds of hours and considerable expense.

Worse was to come, apparently the car had been used by thieving scum in a ram raid and had been found in a field a mile from my home completely burnt out. I went to have a look and I wish I hadn’t there was not a single item salvageable, even the engine had melted in the intense heat. I cried, and I am unable remove that image from my head, it has change my feelings towards the human race, I generally do not like people anymore.

I have since invested many hours and cost restoring my 68 mini cooper but wont use it for fear of leaving it unattended. I am now contemplating restoring my mini countryman thinking perhaps I may use that, but wonder if old desirable cars are a target for lowlife thieves. Sorry if my tale has depressed you but emotional involvement certainly.



#3 Shifty

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 07:52 PM

I bought a stolen clubby estate once, well to be entirely clear I bought it off the bloke who had it stolen!!

 

Story is the guy had this clubby and it was stolen out of his garage, it was then sold to an unsuspecting buyer who bought in good faith and subsequently did a load of work to it.  This guy then registered the car in his name, as it was flagged up as a stolen car the police took it off him and returned it to the rightful owner.

 

The unsuspecting buyer lost the car and the money and time he spent on it.

 

The original owner lost interest  in and i ended up buying it.



#4 CCX

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:13 PM

Thank you both very much for posting your experiences, didn't enjoy reading either of them I can assure you! But both very helpful, really do appreciate it.



#5 angrydicky

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 06:26 AM

My partner's Mini City was stolen from outside her house in Heston, Middlesex in May 2017. A neighbour's CCTV caught the entire theft and provided quite disturbing viewing. 

 

Two men in a silver Volvo saloon pulled up at 1:30 am, and the passenger proceeded to force the door lock of the Mini, get into the car then he got a hacksaw out of the Volvo and sat there cutting through the steering wheel rim to get the Stoplock off. Once that was done, he snapped the steering lock, hitched up a towrope and they had it away.

 

We had the numberplate of the Volvo and good CCTV of one culprit but despite this there was little for the police to go on.

 

The Mini in question was a rather battered and very original 998 City so it certainly wasn't one of the more valuable Minis.

 

I kept a look out for it on the usual selling sites in the following months, along with any spares from this (very distinctive) car but had no joy.

We assumed it had been cut up or exported long ago.

 

Out of the blue, eerily exactly a year after it was taken (18th May 2018) my partner had a missed call and voicemail from the police asking her to ring them.

 

Turns out they stopped the Mini being driven in Cambridgeshire, reasons for this stop unknown but possibly no tax/insurance.

The guy driving gave a false name, so the officers investigated further, and found he was wanted for a string of offences, including aggravated burglary.

He was arrested, and when they checked the car, they discovered it was an outstanding stolen vehicle.

The numberplates had been changed, but very little else.

 

The broken ignition barrel has been replaced with a secondhand one from an earlier Mini to enable them to start and drive it.

The original seats have been discarded in favour of what look like Mayfair ones.

The original hubcaps have been replaced with later trims.

It's had a knock on the offside rear and will need a new bumper.

All my partner's stickers and parking permits have been removed, including the anti-theft window etching stickers which had been on since new (these must have been hard to shift)

Apart from that it just looks really dirty and down-at-heel, with flat paint and several new areas of rust coming through. Like it's been kept somewhere damp for the last year.

Despite this, we think the mileage is less than 500 miles more than when it was stolen.

 

We have submitted an offer in writing to the insurance company for the car, on the strength of a few photos and a brief engineer's report.






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