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  1. ITV Report

Brazen 'Gone in 60 Seconds' gang stole cars worth nearly £3 million

A brazen "Gone in 60 Seconds" gang stole high end cars using sophisticated software to break into keyless Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedes worth nearly £3 million.

Mahmood and Bux in a stolen vehicle Credit: Met Police

The high-tech thieves targeted more than 120 vehicles worth as much as £60,000 each over a 12 month period.

Using key programming technology to steal vehicles including Range Rovers, Mercedes and BMWs, the gang of seven men and one woman made their getaway cars look like minicabs - complete with TfL private hire stickers - to commit the thefts.

Car keys found in search of pub in Manor Park Credit: Met Police

Manjit Sandhu orchestrated the gang who bought specialist equipment used by locksmiths to bypass keyless cars' security systems in seconds.

Heena Bux, 21, found cars to break into and arranged for Khuram Zaman, 19, Mohammed Islam, 20, and Geoffrey Cairns, 55, to drive them away.

Using the cover of darkness they also burgled car keys from homes in the east and west of London and drove the owners' vehicles away from their driveways within minutes.

The vehicles were then shipped in containers from Britain around the world, to places such as Africa and Eastern Europe, between March 2015 and August last year.

One thief, Sufiyan Mahmood, was even captured on CCTV driving a stolen car through a McDonald's drive through after taking it from the owner's home.

Sufiyan Mahmood Credit: Met Police

Police got wind of his plans and started watching their homes. On August 17 last year police raided a pub in Newham, east London, run by gang leader Manjit Sandhu's dad - finding car keys, a key programmer, "blank" keys and a lock-picking tool.

The 32-year-old ring leader even committed one offence on the same day he received a suspended sentence for being involved in the theft of another car in an unrelated incident.

Sandhu of Hornchurch, east London, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal at Southwark Crown Court o Tuesday after he was caught on his own CCTV system leaving home to commit the crimes.

Manjit Sandhu Credit: Met Police

Appearing alongside Sandhu, co-conspirator Islam, of Forest Gate, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal as was Cairns, of Swindon Lane, Romford.

Mahmood, 19, of Forest Gate was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal as was Faisal Khan, 23, of Forest Gate, east London.

Humzah Bhariwala, 23, of Forest Gate, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary.

Bux, of Leytonstone, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal as was Zaman, of Walthamstow.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

They brought distress to many victims whose homes they broke into, who not only lost their vehicles but in many cases were traumatised by the thought of someone having been in their house while they slept.

Although the case involved over 120 offences, it is clear that this team were responsible for an even greater number of crimes.

Almost all of the houses that were burgled had uPVC front doors that had not been double locked, allowing the offenders to gain entry very quickly using simple tools.

I would urge all householders to ensure that their front door is correctly locked at night - this means not only lifting the handle on a UPVC door, but also using the key to lock it.

Unless it is locked with the key, the door remains vulnerable to the method employed by the criminals in this case.

– Det Ch Insp Caroline Clooney, Met Police