Genuine log books are being used to fool motorists into buying stolen second-hand cars, senior police officers have warned.
Police say thieves are particularly targeting Ford Transits, Nissan Navaras, BMWs, Mercedes and Audis.
They believe that the Transits and Navaras are favoured as they’re popular with builders, while BMW, Audi and Mercedes models are lucrative prestige vehicles.
Often the vehicle is sold for a low price, and for cash. The buyer then tries to register it only to find that it’s stolen; police will then seize it.
There is often no way of tracing the seller who has used either a false name and address or has met the victim at a pre-arranged location such as a motorway service area.
The buyer then finds they’ve lost both their money and their car.
Superintendent John Wake said: ‘We are seeing too much of this…Each crime tends to have more than one victim. Don’t get caught out, make as many checks as you can before you commit to purchasing a vehicle.
‘Never buy if you have any doubts. There are always more vehicles for sale than there are buyers.’
The serial numbers of the stolen V5 log books range from BG 9167501 to BG 9214000 and you can check with the DVLA on 0870 241 1878 to see whether a V5 is from the stolen batch.