A CHEEKY car park thief was caught red-handed after a victim spotted his own stolen car part being sold on an online auction site.
Adam Jones has now been convicted of two counts of theft from the Milton Keynes rail station car park. He was fined a total of £110.
Now British Transport Police have launched high visibility patrols to protect other car owners who park at the Eldergate multi storey.
Jones prowled the car park and stole parts including rear grills, light covers and valances from the parked cars, Milton Keynes magistrates heard.
The 21-year-old, who lives in Cromwell Avenue, Newport Pagnell, then sold the parts online and pocketed the proceeds. But he was caught out when one victim searched the Internet marketplace to buy another valance after his was stolen.
He found the perfect match bought it for £22.21 and went to collect it from Jones.
A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “When he collected it and tried to fit it to his own vehicle, he discovered it was the very car part that had been stolen from him in the first place.”
Their officers were informed and Jones was swiftly arrested.
Inspector Neil Ketley from the city’s British Transport Police station said: “This conviction shows that those who think they can get away with stealing parts from other people’s vehicles will not be tolerated.
“Patrols have since been stepped up by BTP officers at the station and around the car park, as well as online.
“And if anyone else is thinking about doing something similar, let this be a warning that we will track you down and do everything we can to bring you to justice.”
The car parks are now checked hourly and there are also special undercover operations in place, said Mr Ketley.
Victims of theft, or anyone with information about theft in the area, should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.