Holbrook: Carjacking victim’s warning to sellers after shock theft of �21,000 Mercedes

HOLBROOK: A �21,000 sports car was stolen by a thief posing as a potential buyer.

Carjacking victim Paul Ubhi was enjoying a sunny Sunday at home with his family in Denmark Gardens, Holbrook, when a man who had seen his silver Mercedes C-class sports car advertised in AutoTrader came for an arranged viewing on May 1.

But an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend soon turned to disaster when the supposed buyer turned out to be a devious thief.

The 31-year-old IT manager said: “As he was looking round, he asked me to demonstrate how the sat-nav worked, which obviously meant me leaning in to switch the engine on.

“Within literally three or four seconds, he pushed me out of the car, locked the doors and drove straight off.

“It happened very quickly. Even once he pushed me out of the way, I still didn’t really know what was going on. My initial reaction was to get out of the way as quickly as possible in case he was going to drive over me.”

Mr Ubhi had several family members visiting including his parents, brother and sister, who rushed out to his aid, but the thief raced off at such speed that they could not tell which direction he had gone.

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The victim has warned other sellers to be wary of potential buyers and look out for signs of suspicious behaviour.

With hindsight, he said the fact that the thief spoke to him several times on the phone with a sympathetic story about buying the car for his pregnant wife, and that there was no evidence of the suspect having brought his own car to the viewing, could have been early tell-tale signs.

But the incident has taken its toll on the NHS worker, who has had sleepless nights and been forced to take time off work to get over the shock.

“It really did shake me up,” he said. “And it’s been constantly on my mind since it happened.

“You feel angry with yourself over something like that happening, but there’s nothing you can do.

“I really loved my car and cleaned it every week, so when someone does that, it’s heartbreaking because it was literally stolen right in front of me.”

The suspect is described as Asian, in his mid-30s, slim and about 5ft 10ins with short dark hair thinning on top and a slight London accent. He was wearing a blue checked shirt, black jacket, dark jeans and shiny plimsole-style shoes.

Anyone with information about the incident, which happened at about 4.50pm, or who knows the whereabouts of the car with registration number AV58 LNO, can call DS Tam Burgess on 01284 774100.

n Have you been a victim of crime? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324788.