Pair jailed for nationwide £1m keyless-entry car thefts

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image copyrightCambridgeshire Police
image captionDarius Lukauskas and Juozas Baltors were jailed at Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday

Two men behind a nationwide conspiracy to steal luxury keyless-entry cars worth more than £1m have been jailed.

Juozas Baltors, 28, and Darius Lukauskas, 31, were linked to the theft of 26 vehicles, including Audis, BMWs and Range Rovers, from 10 counties.

They were taken to a "chop shop" in Peterborough, and dismantled for parts.

Baltors, of Figtree Walk, Peterborough, and Lukauskas, of HMP Peterborough, were jailed after being found guilty of conspiring to steal a motor vehicle.

At Peterborough Crown Court, Baltors was imprisoned for four years and nine months, while Lukauskas received a four-and-a-half year term.

image copyrightCambridgeshire Police
image captionPolice said they identified more stolen vehicles through Baltors' phone

Cambridgeshire Police said the thefts occurred during the early hours of the morning, and used "relay" equipment to get victims' car-key frequencies from inside their homes, allowing them to drive them away.

Prosecutor Simon Walters told the trial: "The ultimate aim of the thieves was not to sell the vehicles on in the condition they had stolen them in, but to break them down and sell on the valuable parts.

"It is clear that almost all of the vehicles that feature in this case were broken down, and there is a clear inference that the organised crime group moved the parts south with the ultimate aim of shipping them overseas where they would sell the parts and realise their profit."

image copyrightCambridgeshire Police
image captionThe pair were linked to the theft of 26 vehicles between February and May 2020

Police said Baltors was stopped in Peterborough on 13 April when a BMW X5 was spotted on cloned number plates, and checks found it had been stolen from Hampshire 10 days earlier.

A "jamming" device - used to block tracking signals - was found in the glovebox and Baltors was arrested.

The next day, officers used keys found on Baltors to open an industrial unit in Ivatt Way, Peterborough, where they found two vehicles in the process of being dismantled - an Audi Q7 from Maidenhead in Berkshire and a BMW 7 series from Leicester.

Det Con Craig Trevor said from Baltors' phone "further stolen vehicles were identified as well as another offender, Darius Lukauskas, who would call Baltors when he was on his way to Peterborough with a stolen vehicle".

The pair were linked to the theft of vehicles between February and May 2020 from places including Northamptonshire, Walsall, London, Berkshire and Hampshire.

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