A CAR thief used a motor sales magazine to handpick his targets before robbing sellers of their vehicles during test drives.
Wahid Mahmood responded to three adverts in Auto Trader magazine for high value cars – but on each occasion made off in the vehicles whilst putting them through their paces.
The 37-year-old stole a Mini Cooper from a man in Rosary Road, Erdington, on June 9; an Audi A3 from an owner in Shirley’s Sharmans Cross Road a week later; and an Audi A4 in Station Road, Dorridge, on July 28.
And at Warwick Crown Court on August 10 he pleaded guilty to one charge of robbery and two counts of stealing a motor vehicle.
The court heard how Mahmood, from Giles Road in Oldbury, was test-driving the Audi A4 when he asked the 35-year-old owner to pull over so he could check omissions levels from the exhaust pipe.
But as they got out of the vehicle he pushed the owner to the ground, grabbed the keys and sped away.
Traffic police gave chase after the car was spotted by a number plate recognition system on the M6; at one stage Mahmood was clocked travelling at 110mph on the hard shoulder.
He abandoned the vehicle in Prestbury Road, Aston, and was apprehended following a foot chase by officers. Keys to the vehicle were discovered nearby.
During the police investigation detectives linked him to two other similar offences – where the Audi A3 and Mini were stolen – and the owners subsequently identified Mahmood as the culprit from an ID parade line-up.
He will be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on September 1.