Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Range Rover Reading car thief stole more than £1 million’s worth of vehicles

Darius Lukauskas and Juozas Baltors stole 26 keyless-entry cars from 10 counties

A Reading man who took part in a major car theft operation around the country has been jailed for more than four years.

Darius Lukauskas and Juozas Baltors stole cars before having them delivered to a 'chop-shop' in Peterborough where they were taken apart and shipped out of the country.

They stole vehicles from areas of Berkshire including Bracknell, Twyford, Wokingham, Shinfield, Wokingham and Maidenhead

The pair used sophisticated "relay" equipment to scan and get hold of victims’ vehicle key frequencies from inside their homes which enabled them to then start up the vehicles and drive them away.

They were caught after Baltors was stopped by police in Peterborough in April.

He was arrested after officers spotted a BMW X5 being driven with cloned numberplates. Checks revealed the car had been stolen from Hampshire 10 days before and the search revealed a 'jamming' device in the glovebox.

Baltors, 28, was arrested and further searches of his home in in Figtree Walk, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, found two industrial strength jamming devices and images on his phones showing high end vehicles being dismantled.

Officers then used a set of keys found on him at the time of arrest to open up an industrial unit in Ivatt Way, Peterborough, where they found two stolen vehicles being taken apart.

These were an Audi Q7 from Maidenhead and a BMW 7 series taken from Leicester.

A Mercedes Sprinter Luton van with cloned plates that had been taken from Walsall near Birmingham was also found parked outside.

Further searches found more cloned plates, jamming devices and parts and number plates belonging to seven more stolen cars.

Lukauskas, 31, of Basingstoke Road, Reading, was later arrested in Berkshire and charged with conspiracy to steal vehicles.

Baltors and Lukauskas were linked to the theft of 26 vehicles valued at £1,010,813, between February and May last year (2020):

The vehicles Baltors and Lukauskas stole and how much they were worth

  1. Mercedes Sprinter Luton van stolen from Blakenall Bloxwich, Walsall, West Midlands on 17 February (£13,720)
  2. Range Rover Sport stolen from Datchet, Slough, Berkshire on 19 February (£28,000)
  3. BMW M2 stolen from Grange Park, Northampton on 28 February (£38,000)
  4. BMW 740D stolen from Grange Park, Northampton on 28 February (£93,000)
  5. Mercedes GLE 350 stolen from Withy Mead, Chingford, London on 4 March (£38,000)
  6. BMW X5 stolen from Upminster, Essex on 6 March (£32,000)
  7. BMW 760LI stolen from Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire on 6 March (£28,000)
  8. BMW 435D stolen from Amersham, Buckinghamshire on 6 March (£20,800)
  9. Mercedes GLC 250 stolen from Wokingham, Berkshire on 7 March (£32,000)
  10. BMW X5 stolen from Tring, Hertfordshire on 12 March (£70,000)
  11. BMW 760LI stolen from Tring, Hertfordshire on 12 March (£57,700)
  12. BMW M2 stolen from Alton, Hampshire on 20 March (£31,600)
  13. BMW X5 stolen from Wokingham, Berkshire on 21 March (£25,000)
  14. BMW 220D from Wokingham, Berkshire on 21 March (£17,500)
  15. BMW 420I stolen from Harrow, Middlesex on 21 March (£23,000)
  16. Range Rover Sport stolen from Horton Heath, Hampshire on 29 March – later recovered (£48,000)
  17. BMW 420D stolen from Bracknell, Berkshire on 30 March (£24,000)
  18. Mercedes GLE 350 stolen from Grays, Essex on 31 March (£59,000)
  19. BMW X5 stolen from Hartley Whitney, Hampshire on 4 April (£60,000)
  20. Ford Mustang GT stolen from Woking, Surrey on 7 April (£27,700)
  21. BMW X4 stolen from Hamilton, Leicester on 9 April (£37,500)
  22. BMW 740E stolen from Syston, Leicester on 9 April (£35,000)
  23. Audi Q7 stolen from Maidenhead, Berkshire on 14 April (£74,000)
  24. BMW 730 stolen from Shinfield, Berkshire on 13 May (£29,000)
  25. BMW 530 stolen from Hartley Whitney, Hampshire on 14 May (£47,827)
  26. Mercedes 250 stolen from Twyford, Berkshire on 23 May (£20,466)

DC Craig Trevor, from Cambridgeshire’s acquisitive crime team, said: “Baltors was initially charged with conspiracy to steal 10 vehicles, however it was clear Baltors was not working alone and this was just the tip of the iceberg.

“From his mobile phone, further stolen vehicles were identified as well as another offender, Darius Lukauskas, who would call Baltors when he was on his way to Peterborough with a stolen vehicle.”

The pair denied the charges, but were found guilty after a seven-day trial at Peterborough Crown Court.

Baltos was also convicted for breaching a deportation order after returning to the UK under a different name - just eight days after being deported by Kent Police in February last year.

He was deported after being convicted of perjury, theft offences, and possession of an offensive weapon in 2019.

Jailed for more than four years

Both men were jailed for four years and six months.

Baltors was jailed for an additional three months for breaching the deportation order and banned from driving for three years, which will start on his release from prison. This is for driving while uninsured.

PC Jeremy Turner, from Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s acquisitive crime team said: "In just 97 days, Baltors and Lukauskas played pivotal roles in stealing more than a million pounds worth of vehicles from across 10 counties.

“They took advantage of flaws in modern vehicle security and took numerous steps to try to thwart a police investigation. I would strongly suggest all owners of keyless entry/start vehicles review their vehicle security – the best advice is to take a layered approach to protecting the vehicle in order to make it more difficult and time consuming to steal. Criminals look for the easiest option and will move on if they deem a theft will take too long."