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Three men jailed for BMW, Mercedes and Range Rover keyless car thefts in Ashford, Hawkinge, Tonbridge, Tenterden and Maidstone

Three men who carried out keyless car thefts across the county have been jailed for a total of more than seven years.

Alminas Satas, Maksims Seluks and Olgierd Golubovski were involved in the thefts of 29 vehicles from Ashford, Hawkinge, Tonbridge, Tenterden and Maidstone in October and November 2022.

They used an electronic device to capture the signals emitted by car keys and trick vehicles into thinking keys were present to steal them.

An investigation was launched after the first vehicles, a BMW and a Mercedes, were stolen in Ashford on October 12 last year.

Detectives found the thieves were travelling to the county from east London in vehicles which had cloned number plates on them to avoid detection.

They then targeted BMWs, Mercedes and Range Rovers, which would then be driven back to Essex and London, where is it believed they were stripped down and sold for parts.

In the early hours of December 8, officers established a BMW seen on the M25 was travelling on cloned plates.

Alminas Satas. Picture: Kent Police
Alminas Satas. Picture: Kent Police

It was followed by officers in unmarked cars and brought to a stop after exiting the A249 near Sittingbourne.

Satas and Seluks were then arrested, while a third man ran from the scene.

The vehicle was found to be registered under a false name at an address in Dagenham.

Officers later went to the address and arrested Golubovski.

Evidence from his and the other men's phones linked them to the numerous thefts around the county over the preceding two months.

Maksims Seluks. Picture: Kent Police
Maksims Seluks. Picture: Kent Police

After being charged in December and then admitting to conspiring to steal vehicles, Satas, Seluks and Golubovski were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday.

Satas, 26, of Bell Farm Avenue, Dagenham, was jailed for three years and four months.

Golubovski, 24, of Rowdowns Road, Dagenham, was sentenced to two years and four months, while Seluks, 23, of Vincent Road, Dagenham, received a sentence of two years and one month.

Kent Police's investigating officer, DC Scott Drake, said: "These three men were relentless in their targeting of cars to steal and quickly take out of the county.

"I would like to thank the local neighbourhood watch coordinators who worked tirelessly to obtain crucial CCTV footage, and for the support of the local communities in providing important evidence in this case.

Olgierd Golubovski. Picture: Kent Police
Olgierd Golubovski. Picture: Kent Police
Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Stock image
Canterbury Crown Court. Picture: Stock image

"I am pleased our meticulous investigation saw these men arrested and charged, and they are now no longer at liberty to steal people's property."

The sentences come two weeks after a pair of men were jailed for a total of five years for similar offences.

Drivers of cars with keyless entry systems are being advised to take steps to ensure their vehicles are secure.

Police say motorists should check if their entry fobs can be turned off overnight and store them away from any household entry points.

People can also store their fobs in special foil-lined bags, which can be bought from retailers, to prevent any unwanted communication between the vehicle and its keys.

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