Furious driver takes back her own car after being targeted by thieves
Loose Women: Stacey says 'police did nothing' about stolen car
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The unlucky driver named Jo Coombs from Battersea realised that her Land Rover Discover was stolen when she woke up one morning. She informed the police but eventually decided to take matters into her own hands with a handy GPS trick on her smartphone.
Ms Coombs said: “My Land Rover Discovery Sport was parked in my usual spot; a private car park protected by large black gates locked and controlled by a key code.
“I’ve always assumed it was safe there. And when other similar cars were stolen on the street, I ignored recommendations to get a steering lock.
“It’s well known that Land Rover and Range Rover keyless entry cars are easy to steal.
“But you never think it’s going to happen to you. Or I stupidly thought it wouldn’t.
“I immediately called the police.
“They took my details, gave me a crime reference number, and left me feeling like that was it.
“Yet another Land Rover vehicle gone for good.”
However, things started to look up for Ms Coombs after she phoned her insurance company to report the theft.
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She said: “A couple of years ago I switched insurance to By Miles. An insurance product where you only pay for the miles you drive.
“It turned out to be a very good decision when lockdown came and we couldn’t drive anywhere.
“Turns out there’s a much bigger benefit.”
The app-based insurance policy that belonged to Ms Coombs came with a GPS tracker that calculates the miles driven to invoice the driver each month.
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The app does not assess the motorist’s driving style.
It only measures the distance and tracks the car via a smartphone app.
Ms Coombs said: “I could see that my car was taken at 04:34, driven a mile away. Parked for 40 minutes. Driven again another mile. Parked.
“This continued a few times until eventually it was parked 1.9 miles from home. And it hadn’t moved since.
“I called the police again. They told me to get my keys and go and reclaim my car. I had thought they would go, but no apparently it was quicker if I did.
“I got to the street indicated on the app not really expecting to find my car.
“Tucked around the corner, under a large tree was a blue Discovery Sport. I got closer, the number plates didn’t match mine, and it had a smashed wing mirror.
“It did however open when I used my keys.
“The engine started, my number plates were inside the car, and apart from the wing mirror, some other minor scrapes, cleaned out glove and door compartments, and stinking of cigarettes it was fine.”
The motorist had to wait for over 30 minutes for the police to arrive while fearing that the thieves might return.
Ms Coombs told The Sun: “The police arrived about 30 minutes later. They checked the car. Ran the plates that were on my car – they were for another Blue Discovery Sport (not reported stolen).
“They were even branded with the dealer Lookers Land Rover, the same as mine!”
After swapping her plates back Ms Coombs drove straight to Halfords and bought a steering lock.
“Lesson number one – buy and use a steering lock especially if you have a keyless entry car.
“They say you only realise the value of your insurance and discover whether the company you chose is any good when you claim on it. By Miles has already proven its value to me.”
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