Thief stole cars in test drive scam

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A CAR thief drove off with two vehicles that were for sale after taking them for a test drive.

Police are urging car owners to be on their guard after the man, claiming to be called Peter, duped the sellers into letting him take the cars for a spin.

On Thursday, he stole a green Ford Focus Zetec, registration X446 ARY, which was advertised for sale on the internet.

The man came to the home of the owner, a 42-year-old woman from Jubilee Crescent in Sherburn Hill, Durham, and asked if he could test drive the car.

When the woman said she could not leave the house as she was looking after a baby, the man said he would take it round the block on his own.

He drove off in the vehicle and later called the woman saying he was lost on a country road and would return as soon as possible, but did not come back.

The suspect is thin, in his late 40s or early 50s with receding dark brown hair and a North East accent.

He was wearing glasses, light jeans, a T-shirt and high-visibility waist coat.

On May 17, a man from Garden Avenue, in Durham, had his silver Citroen Picasso, registration NL51 WGW, stolen.

A man, again claiming to be called Peter, had called at the victim’s home and had asked to take the car for a test drive.

Before the owner could get in the car, the man drove off.

Anyone with information should phone Durham Police on 101.