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Car cloning gang foiled by police

Thursday June 17th 2010

Police in Lancashire have foiled the plans of a gang of car cloners in Preston who had amassed a fleet of 16 stolen cars worth £153,000.

The gang had targeted car owners across the region in order to clone the cars, leaving both the original owners and the new 'owners' making sizeable claims on their insurance policies.

Car cloning involves changing the identity of a vehicle by replacing its registration plate with the stolen plates of an almost identical vehicle or by fitting show plates. The stolen car then appears to be a legitimately owned vehicle that can be sold on to unsuspecting buyers.

Used car specialist HPI said the operation highlights the value of taking out a car history check on any used car prior to purchase to identify a potentially stolen car. The case also highlights the importance of car value protector cover after the innocent victims of the gang found themselves collectively out of pocket to the tune of £62,000.

Nicola Johnson, consumer services manager for HPI said: "As the recession takes its toll on the UK, criminals are using more sophisticated methods to clone vehicles and car buyers are repeatedly falling foul of these fraudsters. Used car buyers may be unaware of the risks or maybe they are dazzled by a rock bottom price on their dream vehicle, which plays right into the hands of the cloners."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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