Video of 'mooning' crook issued as cops hunt for tool theft gang

West Midlands Police has released video footage of a getaway driver "mooning" at witnesses through a car window while his accomplice swiped tools from a nearby van.

Officers hope the "bare-faced cheek" of the crook will help identify thieves who took items valued at around £600 from a van parked in Fred Lee Grove, Coventry, the morning of August 11.

The men, who smashed a window to gain access to the van, are believed to be part of a wider group that has targeted more than 40 tradespeople across Coventry in recent weeks using vehicles on cloned registration plates.

West Midlands Police have also issued CCTV showing two men opening a white van in Torrington Avenue, Coventry, two days earlier, before making off when they were disturbed.

Other video footage shows a larger group armed with crowbars stealing from a van in Broad Lane, Coventry, before driving away in a black Audi.

Coventry Police Detective Inspector Stew Lewis said: "We’ve had a bit of fun with the video in the hope it will be widely shared and generate information about who might be involved.

"But these offences are no laughing matter. These brazen thieves have stolen tools worth thousands of pounds; tradespeople have been left out of pocket and badly inconvenienced.

"They’ve also brandished crowbars and metal batons during some of the thefts and we’re concerned they may be prepared to use violence.

"We need to find these thieves. If you think you recognise them, suspect who may be involved, or have been offered tools for sale in suspicious circumstances, then please get in touch."