If you’ve ever wondered what happens to cars after they’ve been stolen, the police in Suffolk might have found an answer.
Five Range Rovers and hundreds of vehicle and bike parts stolen from driveways have been found in shipping containers bound for countries like Kenya and Greece after a police crackdown.
Some of the cars have been reported as stolen from east London, while others are believed to be missing from owners in places like Surrey, Islington and beyond.
Police have expressed their disbelief over the sheer amount of vehicles crammed into the storage containers, as well as at the lengths the wrongdoers will go to in order to steal cars.
Detective Chief Superintendent Carl Bussey of the Metropolitan Police, said: “They are so jammed with cars and vehicle parts that we are still extracting the contents.”
Thousands of cars stolen a year
Far from an isolated incident, it’s estimated that thousands of the cars stolen each year end up in containers to be shipped overseas, though thanks to police, criminals don’t always get away with it.
Back in September, an 82-year old retired lawyer was miraculously reunited with his original Jaguar E-Type after it had been stolen from his apartment in New York nearly 50 years ago.
Pensioner Ivan Schneider had long thought the vintage Jag gone, until he got an unexpected call last year and was told that his car had been found in a cargo container, en route to the Netherlands.
The vintage Jaguar was found along with four other missing cars in late August by US Customs and Border Protection agents who had been assigned to inspect cargo leaving the Los Angeles port.
According to Mr Schneider, the recovery of his original E-Type, so legendary that even Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made”, brought back fond memories.
He described waking up early on weekends to take it out for 100mph spins on the open highways before they got busy with morning traffic.
“I used to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning on either Saturday or Sunday and drive it 90 to 100mph on the highway in New York,” he said.
Calling the E-Type “ahead of its time”, he said that he had purchased it in 1968 for around £3,000 after winning a big legal case.
Customs estimates placed the current value of the car at £14,449, though it could be sold for as much as £60,000 due to its extremely desirable nature among collectors.
“Who would figure a car would show up 46 years later?” he said. “I was 36 years old then and now I’m 82, this is just a miracle, a miracle.”