Man arrested in vehicle cloning investigation

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A man has been arrested after a theft warrant was executed in Chorley following an investigation into attempts to clone a stolen car.

Lancashire Police’s organised vehicle crime team, accompanied by Trading Standards and the Environment Agency, carried out the raid at business premises in Progress Street at around 10am.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and a proceeds of crime offence.

Detective Sergeant Simon Ingham, from Lancashire Constabulary’s organised vehicle crime team, said: “Car cloning not only affects the person from whom the vehicle was originally stolen, but also the victim who unwittingly goes on to buy it.

“Following a few crime prevention steps can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of theft or fraud. If you are suspicious about someone who is trying to sell you a car, contact the police and Trading Standards.”

Tips for car owners to prevent theft:

- Always remove your keys from the ignition, lock up and take them with you when you leave your vehicle.

- Do not leave keys in the ignition while you de-frost your car.

- Keep keys away from the front door - especially the letterbox - to prevent thieves fishing for them from outside.

Tips to prevent you buying a stolen car:

- Choose your seller. Buying a second hand car from a dealer will be more expensive than a private sale but less risky.

- Read the paperwork. Make sure the service history, MOT, chassis number and mileage match. Check the log book (or V5) is in the keeper’s name.

- Before you buy, it is worth getting a data check carried out from an approved agency like the AA or RAC. This will tell you if a used car has been stolen, written off or has outstanding finance.

- Never meet in a car park or similar public place to buy a second hand car and be suspicious if the seller insists on a cash transaction.