An opportunist thief scaled a car dealer’s locked gate yesterday (Jan 21) before jumping into a running car and driving away.
Ashton Quality Cars, located on Katherine Street in Ashton-under-Lyne, was closed to the public but operating a click-and-collect service, as allowed under lockdown guidelines, when a 2014 Dacia Sandero Stepway was stolen from its forecourt.
Owner Nick Worrall told Car Dealer that a customer had called to reserve the car, registration YE14 XRH, and he had gone to move it for when the customer came to collect it.
After pulling the car out, he got into a second car, a BMW, to park it in its new position, and said that when he spotted the Dacia moving he simply thought that he’d forgotten to put its handbrake on.
‘I thought ‘the Dacia’s moving’, and thought I’d left the handbrake off. So I jumped out to go back to it and then I realised what was happening.
‘It was then being driven through our back gate, which it barely fitted through, so I jumped in the BMW, chased it down the street and tried to stop him.
‘He was now driving the car at 50 to 60mph, wouldn’t get out of it and drove down a one-way street into oncoming traffic.’
He added: ‘It was a pure opportunist. One of the residents saw it all happen and called the police.’
The dealership posted a video of the car being stolen on its Facebook page just 10 minutes after the incident.
It’s now been shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook, with the car dealership coming under fire in the comments from people saying it was to blame for being open.
However, Ashton Quality Cars was closed to customers and Worrall said: ‘I can assure everybody he definitely wasn’t a customer!’
The dealership has offered a reward for the recovery of the car or any information that leads to its recovery.