Is Your Motor Cloned?

Been a bit of excitement this weekend in our part of West London!

My brother is a courier driver. He owns his van and works for a local firm. He doesn't earn millions but he does make a reasonable living. His van is a former OCS Vauxhall Combo. He bought it at Blackbushe Auctions a couple of years ago. It's very distinguishable because it's white but has a light blue swatch down the rear part of the body which was part of the OCS fleet colours when they owned it.

Because of this distinct feature, all his mates in the pub often say to him, saw you driving down my road yesterday morning etc. In fact a few weeks ago, I was queuing to get out onto a major road when his van went past me. Except it wasn't his van because as I thought "oh look there's my brother," I noticed it also had a roof rack on it which my brother doesn't have on his. So I thought oh well, there are two of those vans in the borough now.

My brother was aware that there was another van similar to his driving around because as I said, some of his mates had mentioned to him that they had seen him driving down their street when in actual fact, he had been miles away doing a courier job. One of his mates saw this van on several occasions in his street so it was also locally owned.

This Thursday just gone, my brother was sat in his van outside a chippy tucking into a bag of chips when he noticed this other former OCS van with the light blue swatch on the rear drive past him. He also noticed that the registration number plate was the same as that on his own van!

The encounter happened so quickly that he thought his mind must be playing tricks on him but he was sure he had seen the same registration on this other OCS van. Unfortunately, he was blocked in so he couldn't get out onto the road to follow the other van.

Knowing there was a local connection, he got his son in law to pick him up and they had a look around a couple of streets and eventually found it parked outside a house less than half a mile from his own gaff. He also saw that it did indeed have the same registration number as his own van. So whoever owned the vehicle was basically impersonating my brother when driving this van.

After he discovered where it was parked, he drove into the high street to find somewhere to park and phone the police. By chance, there was a police car in the high street so he pulled over and went and had a chat with them. After his explanation, they all went back to where the van was parked but it had gone. They then all drove back to my brothers house where the police checked his documentation, took some pictures of his van and gave him a crime number. They also informed him that the other van had filled up with fuel at a local petrol station and had driven off without paying.

This morning, my brother was with his girlfriend in her car when this van passed by them. They turned around and followed it while my brother called the police to inform them he had found it again. There were two blokes in it and they went into a local cafe. They were just coming back out of the cafe when a police car pulled up. They turned and ran back into the building. This cafe has a rear entrance and they disappeared altogether.

The police checked the van and found a set of burgling tools in the back. One policeman remarked it was a complete set, there was even a bottle of bleach. Apparently, career burglars use bleach to wipe away finger prints. The policeman also told my brother that the van had been linked to a series of house burglaries and where he had seen the van parked previously was the address of someone known to them. The van was taken away by the police for forensic examination.

So there you go. Some Herbert had cloned my brothers van by getting a set of number plates with his registration on them. As the van was being driven around, any ANPR system would have shown that the vehicle was taxed, insured and had a current MOT when in fact it was being driven entirely illegally. The mistake the burglars made was to clone a vehicle with distinctive markings. If they had just bought a plain white van and cloned it, they would probably be driving it tonight to their next burglary rather than it being parked in a police pound.

I do wonder just how many other people are doing something like this. The odds are there are probably thousands of them out there!
 
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Really common in some ethnic communities

Several members of the same family will buy the same model and colour car
Put identical number plates on them and then all of them are covered by one set of insurance MOT and road tax

Because they are all related and operating in concert there is little chance of them getting caught
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
A friend of our family has an X5. He was clocked going through the Dartford crossing tolls about 30 times without paying. Only he hadn't been south of Birmingham for several months.

He got the CCTV images which clearly showed a driver with dark hair (Chris is grey and mostly bald) and that the car had different alloys to his motor.

Evidently cloning is pretty common on toll roads.
Attack of the cloners sees drivers caught up in number plate fraud
 

endure

GCM
I had somebody nick the plates off my car, fill up with petrol round the corner and drive off without paying a few months ago. Bastards!
 
Really common in some ethnic communities

Several members of the same family will buy the same model and colour car
Put identical number plates on them and then all of them are covered by one set of insurance MOT and road tax

Because they are all related and operating in concert there is little chance of them getting caught

Must look a bit odd at family get togethers when there's five identical cars parked outside their Mum's house.
 

Slime

LE
Its VERY common in London to avoid the congestion charge. Its one of the reasons people blur their reg numbers in for sale ads.
 
My old man (said follow the van) shortened a car by about three feet on the left with me in the passenger seat a very long time ago. A plate model and colour correct copy is out there. Renault 13. Go figure.
 
Lots of classic cars ringing going on but the police do not want to know as they no doubt have there hand full with luxury cars being stolen and shipped out of the country .

Completely rotton cars , i mean dust are sold on ebay for the vin tags and v5 document , even though by law they are supposed to be surrendered to the dvla if the car is scrapped . Some even just sell the v5 and vin blatently and ebay do nothing . Sometimes they pull the auction if enough people report , most of the time they do not .

Old classic fords , minis of all descriptions , land rovers , range rovers , jags , they are all big money cars now and hundreds , if not thousands are pinched easily each year , never to be seen again , yet DIY ringing kits can be had for a few quid from ebay .

Some of these cars are 40k plus cars that are tucked away and no one knows they are there apart from people with access to the DVLA records and insurance database .

Serious organised crime which is ignored .

Dont get me started on banger racers either . They have specific one car meets for old cortinas or granadas and then they start going missing by the dozen from enthusiasts homes . And then they bleet about being blamed for everything .
 
Buying a car is always a risk , especially when you buy private , HPI checks are one way of getting some security , read the small print though.
Auction cars are actually safer than many think , if they turn out to be stolen or still have finance on them or a undeclared write off the auctioneer is liable and will reluctantly cough up.
Buying off back street garages can be a nightmare as they often disappear .
Of course a HPI check does not check the mechanical condition of the car , people like the AA will do that.

Vehicle Check, Car History Check, UK Reg Checker | Official HPI Check®
 

Slime

LE
Lots of classic cars ringing going on but the police do not want to know as they no doubt have there hand full with luxury cars being stolen and shipped out of the country .

Completely rotton cars , i mean dust are sold on ebay for the vin tags and v5 document , even though by law they are supposed to be surrendered to the dvla if the car is scrapped . Some even just sell the v5 and vin blatently and ebay do nothing . Sometimes they pull the auction if enough people report , most of the time they do not .

Old classic fords , minis of all descriptions , land rovers , range rovers , jags , they are all big money cars now and hundreds , if not thousands are pinched easily each year , never to be seen again , yet DIY ringing kits can be had for a few quid from ebay .

Some of these cars are 40k plus cars that are tucked away and no one knows they are there apart from people with access to the DVLA records and insurance database .

Serious organised crime which is ignored .

Dont get me started on banger racers either . They have specific one car meets for old cortinas or granadas and then they start going missing by the dozen from enthusiasts homes . And then they bleet about being blamed for everything .

The second you mentioned rotten cars I pictured a Fiesta listed on eBay recently. It matches your description pretty well.

Ebay item number: 142509149001
 

Slime

LE
I often wonder about the cars screaming through the average speed zones on the A406 and the A40.

Some are likely to be cloned but some will have number plates that dont register on a digital camera. Those plate are a very different thing to the ones designed to hide the numbers if flashed by a speed camera.
 
I had a shogun sport years ago (black) that turned out to have a clone knocking about, but in silver. Plod eventually accepted mine was the legal one, but I kept on getting the parking, speeding and so on summonses. Sold it in the end, telling the new owner before the sale but he wasn't bothered. I heard later that he'd written it off, so I wonder what happened to the clone. Presumably he'd have eventually been stopped for driving an uninsured write off.
 
Cloning a vehicles registration plate is nothing new. Many a time, from years ago, I often saw car transporters with a full load of part used cars with black tape covering some or all of the plate in order to combat this very problem.
 
The second you mentioned rotten cars I pictured a Fiesta listed on eBay recently. It matches your description pretty well.

Ebay item number: 142509149001
Yes that looks to far gone although i doubt it will sell at that price . Cheaper and a good chance a toe rag will sell the parts and the V5 . Seen as the price for a XR2 has most likely gone up by 300% in 3 years , a good one is probably 5-7k and that means they are in theft zone .Hell , people still nick these old cars when they are worth £1500 to strip for parts . Thats really worth the risk isnt it ?


FORD ESCORT RS 2000 / MEXICO HISTORIC LOGBOOK RARE ORANGE | eBay

This boils my piss . Thats a logbook for what are now easy 20k plus cars . Two mint examples of which have been stolen from the Thames valley area in the last 6 weeks .Thats someones pride and joy and someone is selling a logbook to ring one for £1100 . That strikes me that they know someone will pay for it .

Silly twat has not obscured the reg at the bottom so if you ever own RS2000 MK2 CIW5352 you will be in for a shock if you google it , as your reg no. did not start out with your car .
 
How easy is it to get hold of new number plates now?
I had to replace my rear plate a few years ago and went down to Halfords for it.
I had to take all my registration documents to prove I was the registered keeper before they`d make one.

I suppose the crims have their ways nowadays.
 
Slightly off topic. I wonder how many cars with foreign number plates are road worthy, with insurance valid in the UK and the driver having a licence that allows them to drive legally in the UK?
 
Slightly off topic. I wonder how many cars with foreign number plates are road worthy, with insurance valid in the UK and the driver having a licence that allows them to drive legally in the UK?
ISTR something from one of those cop programmes on telly that they can be here for a year but after that have to register and get uk plates etc. So doubtless every 11 months, Pavel pops home and comes back in his brother's car...
 
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