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Horsepower Motor Centre in Tonbridge suffers third theft in 18 months

A car dealership is facing a £3,000 repair bill after a thief struck, stripping the front of a vehicle which the business had only bought five weeks ago.

A vandal managed to dismantle the Vauxhall Corsa VXR, which was sitting on the forecourt of Horsepower Motor Centre Limited, in Tonbridge, within 25 minutes.

KMTV report on a car dealership targeted by spate of thefts

They removed the front bumper, grille, headlights, and damaged the bonnet, as well as one side of the car, which was being sold for £9,100, the dealership said.

It happened at around 8.45pm on Saturday, January 18.

After the theft of a £40,000 Range Rover Sport in September 2018, the company spent £5,000 on CCTV and alarm systems.

However, this did not stop vandals striking six month later, taking car seats from a rare Volkswagon Golf, leading to it being written off.

Car vandalised on Horsepower Motor Centre forecourt in Tonbridge
Car vandalised on Horsepower Motor Centre forecourt in Tonbridge

The Range Rover was found two days later, leading to three arrests males being arrested. They were all handed prison sentences between three and five years.

Horsepower Motor Centre, in Sovereign Way, will now have to shell out £3,000 to pay for the Vauxhall's repairs.

Business co-owner, Alexander Kuligowski, said: "A good Samaritan who happened to visit our forecourt ironically to view the very vehicle in question noticed it was missing the front end.

"It's so disheartening to find out your business has been subjected to such a petty, yet well-executed crime.

"We have spent thousands of pounds on CCTV and alarm systems to prevent such crimes from taking place, but clearly, they won't deter an individual from stealing if they have the will to do so, and the courage.

"The local authorities did a terrific job in the case of the Range Rover Sport, so I really hope they do it again and catch the culprit.”

Car vandalised on Horsepower Motor Centre forecourt in Tonbridge
Car vandalised on Horsepower Motor Centre forecourt in Tonbridge

CCTV footage shows the perpetrator in dark clothing entering the dealership at around 8.30pm and assessing the car before stripping it.

A police spokesman said: "Officers are investigating the reported theft of a front bumper, grille and headlamps from a Vauxhall Corsa parked outside a business in Sovereign Way, Tonbridge at around 8.45pm on 18 January. "

Anyone with information is asked to call 01622 604 100, quoting crime reference 46/12046/20.

To get the latest updates on ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Tonbridge

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