Car Club Turns To Residents To Find Missing Vehicle

After Chiswick police prove reluctant to search for bright orange car

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The Police in Chiswick

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Pay-as-you-drive company City Car has turned to to help find their missing car after local police proved rather reluctant to help.

City Car's James Finlayson appealed for help in finding his company's bright orange car which is thought to be in the Cambridge Road South area of Chiswick.

He explained "A new member of City Car Club had his membership card and PIN stolen from him in late March. This person was not aware it was stolen at the time. We contacted the member in early April to question the erratic use and prolonged booking of the car and to follow up on some very unusual calls to our 24/7 help desk (which altered us to something fishy) – it was booked almost continually from 29th March to 3rd April by the thieves and they traveled some 556 miles in this time. We cancelled the access rights to the vehicle from 3rd April along with the fuel card and reported the incident to the police advising that the car had been stolen."

He continued "We phoned the police a few times to chase up but vehicle theft is not high on the agenda with policing. Through the booking technology in our car (for long hours of use and miles driven to enable us to bill for our services), we managed to trace with some degree of accuracy the whereabouts of the car and this information was passed onto the police on Wednesday of this week. We are not aware of any progress despite giving this information.

"We also looked in the area very closely yesterday but came up with nothing which leads us to believe it could possibly be in a garage. When access was cancelled to the car, the car would have not restarted due to a security measure we have that works like an engine immobiliser. It is now either sitting doing nothing somewhere or the thieves have found a way to bypass this technology and are using the car. All we know is that as of Wednesday of this week it was traced to be in the vicinity of Cambridge Road South."

"This is an isolated, one off instance for us – but an unfortunate one. It is now causing inconvenience to our members who usually use this car until we get it back. We do not have specific vehicle trackers in our cars as we do not track the whereabouts of our members – simply the time and mileage. We don’t want to be another “big brother”."

Local police were contacted again this afternoon (Friday) by City Car's CEO to try and progress the matter further but was told that they “shut after 3.00pm”. However, DC Parker did subsequently call back to say that he has contacted the local constabulary with a view to them searching the area.

April 21, 2007