COUNTY NEWS: Police investigating thefts and criminal damage to cars left with ‘rogue’ parking companies

More than 1,000 vehicles left unattended near Gatwick Airport.
More than 1,000 vehicles left unattended near Gatwick Airport.

Police are investigating numerous reports of theft, criminal damage and excess mileage on vehicles left with ‘rogue’ parking companies near Gatwick Airport, the force has said.

Sussex Police said it discovered more than 1,000 vehicles left unattended in a boggy field near the airport on Wednesday June 22.

Officers found hundreds of keys to the vehicles in the boot of a car which was left open and unlocked, while several others were covered in mud.

In addition, some keys were left in envelopes on the windscreens of the cars they belonged to, in full view of anyone passing by.

Police said officers were now also looking into reports of theft, criminal damage and excess mileage on vehicles left with the unnamed firms within the past few months.

The force said it is working in conjunction with Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council Trading Standards to investigate five “Meet and greet” companies suspected of operating illegally at the site.

Police are urging drivers to beware of rogue traders and only book with approved parking companies, pending the investigation.

The location of the field is not being released to protect customers’ vehicles, officers added.

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