A thief posing as a legitimate buyer of the dealer’s very own BMW X5 hijacked the car during a viewing.
‘I had actually withdrawn the X5 from sale the day before,’ said the dealer, who wishes to remain anonymous. ‘But this man phoned up about the car on Friday, and I took the car to a nearby hotel car park for him to view it.
‘The thief appeared to be completely legitimate, looking over the car with a fine tooth-comb for at least an hour before he stole it off me. He said he wanted to try out the air-con and jumped into the driving seat. Before I knew what had happened he had driven off.’
‘I kept the keys on me for most of the viewing, but just before he stole it I left them in the ignition’
The dealer has been selling cars for more than 35 years, but admitted that a momentary lack of concentration resulted in the car being stolen.
‘I kept the keys on me for most of the viewing, but just before he stole it I left them in the ignition.
‘I had a lucky escape, though. The police later phoned me saying that they had found the thief’s phone at a nearby Honda dealer, and my name was in the phone. They wanted to know why.
‘That’s when I said I had been a victim too, and the police told me the thief had stabbed two sales people at the Honda dealer.’
To warn other dealers of his experiences, the dealer has issued some advice: ‘When customers now phone up wanting to book a viewing, I say that they need to email, fax, or bring with them a copy of both parts of their driving licence and a utility bill.
‘Independent dealers should learn from what happened to me. Never agree to meet a buyer somewhere other than your own forecourt. These people are canny – I’ve been in the business for more than 35 years and I was fooled.’