Rise in keyless car thefts, cyclist dies in lorry crash, and Londoners wake to snow

Snowy rooftops in Kingston

Snow-covered rooftops in Kingston in southwest London this morning. Image: Katie Rogers

News stories Tuesday 3rd February 2015

  • Rise in car and van thefts
  • Cyclist dies in lorry crash
  • Snow dusts the southeast
  • Roof ripped off double decker bus

Keyless car thefts

Police have announced a surge in car and van theft across London, with an average of 17 vehicles stolen each day.

East London is the worst-affected area.

Last year more than 6,000 vehicles were stolen.

Many of the cars were taken while the vehicles were locked and the thieves didn’t have the owner’s keys – so-called ‘keyless’ thefts.

The Metropolitan Police are launching Operation Endeavour today to target the crimes.

They will be carrying out roadside checks and making efforts to tackle gangs, who they believe are responsible for stealing the cars and then selling them on the black market.

The police are also working with car manufacturers to work out ways of preventing keyless break-ins, and advising drivers to use steering locks and fit trackers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Carl Bussey, who is working on Operation Endeavour, said:

We believe that organised crime groups using this technique are responsible for the theft of thousands of vehicles in London. Many of those that we have already arrested in connection with keyless vehicle theft have previous links to other types of serious crime.

Death of cyclist

The police are appealing for information following the death of a cyclist in east London yesterday.

The cyclist was in collision with a lorry in Homerton.

The incident happened near Homerton Fire Station, and firefighters helped paramedics in their attempts to save the man.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man is the second cyclist to be killed on London roads in 2015 so far.

Police have asked anyone with any information to call them on 0208 543 5157 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Snow across the southeast

Snow in London

Dusting of snow early this morning. Image: Tim Crook

Many parts of London and the southeast were covered in a light dusting of snow this morning, and flakes continued to fall as commuters travelled to work.

There were some transport delays during rush hour, including jams on the M25 and on the A2 and A21 into London.

The weather is predicted to get even colder, as chilly air from Siberia blows across the country.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings of snow and ice.

Roof ripped off double decker bus

The roof of a double decker bus was ripped off after colliding with the branches of an overhanging tree in Holborn.

Two people were taken to hospital with facial injuries and two others were treated for minor injuries.

London Fire Brigade station manager Gary Squires said that it was lucky that nobody was seriously injured.

The road was closed briefly yesterday, but has now reopened.


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