A man has been jailed after breaking into a car dealership, locating the keys for the vehicles in the showroom and then stealing three cars.
Jason Wheeler forced his way into Bristol Street Motors in Marsh Barton, Exeter with an accomplice and got hold of seven sets of keys. By pressing the fobs they were able to identify which vehicles the keys belonged to and then made away with three Vauxhall Corsas, each worth £7,500.
Combined motor trade insurance will be vital for the dealership to regain the value of the stolen vehicles. However, the company might also wish to consult with risk management specialists to examine how they can better prevent such incidents occurring in the future – storing lots of keys together in a non-secure location will improve the criminals’ odds of being able to make away with cars kept on site.
Mr Wheeler and his associate were caught the following night after they returned to Bristol Street Motors and tried to steal another car; staff were waiting for them and blocked them in until police arrived. The Exeter Express and Echo reported that last week Mr Wheeler was jailed for 18 months for the break-in along with an identical offence at a neighbouring dealership.
Meanwhile the accomplice Andrew Holland, also from Torquay, had already been jailed for 32 months for these and other offences. This particular robbery dates back to mid-January this year.
Judge Erik Salomonsen told Wheeler: “The court must balance rehabilitation with the protection of the public and particularly motor dealers in this case and I regret I must impose an immediate sentence.”