A car thief has been jailed for 20 months for his part in a raid on an Inchcape car dealership in which £21,000 of parts were stripped from a rare Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport hot hatch.
Judge Jason Taylor QC jailed 31-year-old Akhtar Zamir for his part in the crime at Swindon Volkswagen dealership – committed last November – on Friday (September 4) after police tracked him down using fingerprints and blood from a cut on one of his hands left at the scene.
Swindon Crown Court heard how the Golf GTI was one of just 400 in the UK and had been bought for £29,000 by the dealership, which the dealership had hoped to retail the car for £36,000 after completing preparation work.
Reporting from court, the Swindon Advertiser said that prosecutor Robin Shellard told Swindon Crown Court how staff at the Frankland Road dealership on November 1 last year had spotted a man in the secure compound where the Golf had been parked.
Shellard said that three men used bolt cutters to break into the compound at around 9.15pm the following night before quickly disabling the car’s the alarm before spending around an hour stripping the vehicle of parts.
The Swindon Advertiser reported that Zamir, who was jailed as part of a gang that stripped Audis of £200,000 worth of parts and is currently serving more than five years for conspiracy to handle stolen goods, was caught after DNA from blood left at the scene led police to him.
When quizzed by Wiltshire Police Zamir made no comment, but admitted his part in the raid in a hearing at Swindon Magistrates Court last month.
Judge Taylor dismissed mitigation that Zamir had been sofa surfing in Swindon at the time of the raid on Inchape’s VW franchise and got involved “at the last minute” for a £400 payment.
Judge Taylor also dismissed suggestions that the fingerprints and blood left at the scene by Zamir served to illustrate that he was not a professional thief.
“Just because you’re professional doesn’t mean you can’t on occasion be stupid,” he said.
Jailing Zamir for 20 months, Judge Taylor said: “In my judgement you travelled down from your home region of Birmingham specifically because of the rarity of this car,” he said.