Duo jailed after 12 Mercedes stolen from private sellers, including two in Hatfield

Umar Haq (left) and Tahla Ahmed (right). Picture: Police.

Umar Haq (left) and Tahla Ahmed (right). Picture: Police.

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Two men have been jailed for a combined 82 months after targeting online private sellers to steal 12 Mercedes and one VW Golf.

Tahla Ahmed. Picture: Police.Tahla Ahmed. Picture: Police.

Tahla Ahmed, 22, of Steele Road, London, and Umar Haq, 28, of Aberdour Road Ilford, trawled online selling sites to target motorists by posing as prospective buyers.

Ahmed was charged with stealing a Mercedes from Hatfield on October 23, 2017, and for robbing a man of his Mercedes January 19, 2018, again in Hatfield.

He was also charged with:

• Conspiring with another to steal motor vehicles between May 5, 2017 and March 9, 2018.

Umar Haq. Picture: Police.Umar Haq. Picture: Police.

• Dangerous driving in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

• Drove while disqualified in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

• Drove without insurance in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

• Failed to stop for a police officer in Ilford on May 6, 2017.

• Stole a Mercedes in Ilford on June 13, 2017.

• Stole a Mercedes in Hornchurch on June 13, 2017.

• Stole a Mercedes in Harrow on August 11, 2017.

• Stole a Mercedes in Plaistow on September 12.

• Stole a Mercedes in Wembley on October 3, 2017.

• Stole a Mercedes at Romford on November 27, 2017.

• Stole a Mercedes at Watford on December 21, 2017.

• Stole a VW Golf at Radlett on December 23, 2017.

• Robbed a man of his Mercedes in Luton on October 4, 2017.

• Robbed a man of his Mercedes in Borehamwood on December 14, 2017.

• Robbed a man of his Mercedes at Forest Gate on February 19, 2018.

Haq was charged with conspiring with another to steal motor vehicles between May 5, 2017 and March 9, 2018.

They both pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, September 27, and were sentenced at the same court the following day.

Ahmed also asked the court to take into consideration a further 25 offences.

He was sentenced to a total of 46 months in prison, ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and was banned from driving for 119 months and until an extended test is passed.

Haq was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.

Detective constable Matt Creese, who investigated, said: “Ahmed and Haq worked together to target people who were trying to sell their vehicles through online selling sites.

“They would pose as buyers, arrange to view the vehicles and when the owners were distracted they would drive off with the car leaving the owner at the roadside.

“Throughout this enquiry Hertfordshire Constabulary has worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and the investigation team has utilised social media to assist in identifying victims across the South East who had been targeted by the pair.

“The Judge recognised the distress and financial loss Haq and Ahmed caused to a large number of victims and the significant sentences handed down reflects this.”

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