Two car thieves used a transmitter and an amplifier pressed against a porch window to steal a £30,000 Mercedes convertible in less than a minute.
The thieves were caught on CCTV footage stealing the car from the owner’s driveway in Whitefield, Bury, an area which has been targeted by car thieves in recent weeks.
The same duo are believed to have been casing other homes for potential target cars in nearby streets – and were also caught on camera there.
The white and black convertible Mercedes, owned by Anthony Harris, was stolen from his driveway in Fairhaven Avenue at 4.18am on Tuesday.
The car was believed to be stolen using a ‘transmitter relay’ method, where one criminal stands at the car with a transmitter while the second waves an amplifier near the house – where the car is parked outside.
A £30,000 black and white Mercedes convertible was stolen from Anthony Harris’s driveway in Whitefield, Bury at 4.18am on Tuesday, CCTV footage shows
If the car’s fob is close enough, the amplifier can detect its signal through doors, walls and windows and send it to the accomplice’s transmitter.
The transmitter then effectively becomes the key – ‘tricking’ the car into thinking the real key is nearby. Thieves are able to open the car, push the start button, then driveway.
In the footage, one individual is seen standing next to the car door while the other faces the house, seemingly holding a high-tech gadget.
The individual next to the car is seen opening the car door and climbing into the driver’s seat before driving the £30,000 car down the driveway, while the other person walks onto the street.
Mr Harris, 67, said he alerted police to his CCTV footage of the alleged thieves stealing his car, but said that he was told by a 999 handler that they were too busy to view it.
He said: ‘The most frustrating thing is that I phoned the police, said that we had CCTV, which showed their faces, but they said they were too busy to look at it.
‘They suggested I put it on social media and let them know if I got any feedback. I realise the police are pulled out with Covid but when the footage is so clear surely they should be interested.
The car was believed to be stolen using a ‘transmitter relay’ method, where one thief stands by the car with a transmitter while the second waves an amplifier near the house (above)
‘The most ridiculous thing is that it was GMP who urged us to get CCTV after my wife’s Ranger Rover and my previous Mercedes were stolen in the same night three years ago.
‘Thank God no one was hurt and it is only a car that has gone.’
The two-and-a-half-year-old Mercedes, with a personalised number plate is still missing.
The Whitefield area has become a target for professional car thieves.
At the end of August, two Audis were stolen less than a mile away from Mr Harris’s home and attempts were made to steal two more.
Mr Harris said: ‘When the police did come round they said the 999 call handler who I spoke to had no right to say put it on social media or that they wouldn’t attend.
‘They were very apologetic and said they would be requesting the tape of my original call.
‘From CCTV footage that neighbours got the same thieves were trying cars on the same night on Ferndale Avenue.’
In the footage, one individual is seen standing next to the car door (left) while the other faces the house, seemingly holding a high-tech gadget (right)
Since June 1 this year, 800 cars stolen in Greater Manchester have vanished and are thought to have been stripped for parts in chop shops or dispatched abroad in shipping containers.
Greater Manchester Police said in statement: ‘Shortly before 9.20am yesterday (15 September 2020), officers were called to a report of a theft of a motor vehicle from outside an address on Fairhaven Avenue in Whitefield.
‘It is believed that two men stole a white Mercedes E300 vehicle at around 4am without keys and made off from the scene.
‘Officers attended and are following a number of lines enquiry including CCTV checks.’
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 812 of 15/09/20 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
MailOnline have contacted Greater Manchester Police for further comment.