One poor motorist is up to £20,000 worse off this morning.
Police stopped the unsuspecting driver on the M1 near Northampton and had to break the news — very gently — that the very expensive BMW he recently bought was, in fact, STOLEN.
Crooks use cloned plates to make the BMW X6 X Drive 30 D appear genuine but it still alerted officers from the Northants Armed Response Vehicle team that patrols the motorway in the county.
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A spokesman for the ARV squad: "our officers trained in tactical pursuit and containment stopped the vehicle northbound on the M1 where it was confirmed as stolen and on cloned plates.
"The driver seems to be an innocent secondary victim to the theft, having paid thousands of pounds for it!"
Car cloning is an illegal practice where criminals steal the identity of a legally registered vehicle and use it to hide a stolen or salvaged one.
Criminals either attempt to sell the cloned vehicle or use it to carry out serious crimes such as ram-raiding and hit and runs.
The RAC issued warnings about buying cloned vehicles in 2019, saying: "If you’ve unknowingly bought a cloned car then, unfortunately, it’s highly likely you will lose both the car and the money you paid for it.
"You may be able to get some help to claim compensation from the seller if you have an insurance policy which covers legal expenses and disputes — if the seller is traceable."
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