Torched car stolen months before

A LAND Rover torched in an arson attack at an Ipswich garage had been stolen following a burglary in the town five months earlier, The Evening Star can reveal today.

A LAND Rover torched in an arson attack at an Ipswich garage had been stolen following a burglary in the town five months earlier, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Thieves broke into a home in central Ipswich in April and took the keys to the vehicle, driving away in it and later changing the registration plates for those of another green Freelander.

This meant the vehicle would not look suspicious when checked on police databases.

It was only recovered by officers at 6.30pm on Tuesday when a member of public called them to Gibbon Street, Ipswich claiming the vehicle looked suspicious.


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Officers checked the chasse number and realised the vehicle has been stolen several months earlier.

It is not believed to have been linked to any other crimes in Suffolk.

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The vehicle was seized by police and taken to Chancery Motors in Great Whip Street where it was torched yesterday morning.

Police are now appealing for anyone who saw the vehicle being abandoned to contact them.

They also want to speak to anyone who witnessed the break-in in Great Whip Street.

The blaze caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage to the garage and scenes of crime officers have been to the scene to try and find clues to identify the suspects.

With much of the evidence destroyed in the blaze, there may be difficulties proving any link between the burglary, the garage break-in and the arson.

Speaking following yesterday morning's blaze, Neil Winney director at the garage, said the car had been locked and still on the tow truck when the blaze had started.

He said: “It (the vehicle) was locked and there were no keys with it so we couldn't have got inside even if we wanted to, but there didn't appear to be much inside.”

The arsonists gained entry to the garage by forcing open the door, despite there being three locks on it.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 5.30am yesterday by staff from neighbouring company DHL.

The fire damaged six other vehicles, including two recovery vehicles and left a hole in the roof of the building.

Fire crews said the fire was most likely to have started in the Land Rover because of the extensive damage to the vehicle.

Police are now expected to probe how the arsonists knew the vehicle was in the garage, or if they targeted it for a specific reason.

Anyone with any information about the vehicle or the arson should call Ipswich police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

Were you the victim of the burglary in April? Do you think the Freelander may have been your car?

Call The Evening Star newsdesk on: 01473 324788 or e-mail: starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

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