"CCTV footage has resulted in him being convicted"
Prolific car thief Zahir Qayum, aged 41, of Hodge Hill, Birmingham, was jailed for nine years after making off with over £60,000 worth of cars.
Birmingham Crown Court heard he targeted Birmingham dealerships where he posed as a potential buyer wanting to test drive the vehicles. But once inside the cars, he forced sales reps out before driving off.
On March 25, 2019, Qayum left the boot open of a Toyota Yaris he was viewing at Toyota World. However, when the rep got out to shut it, he drove off.
But Qayum left a cup of water on the roof, which fell off as he fled. The rim of the cup was tested and DNA matched the thief.
Clear CCTV images were seized by police, which showed Qayum in the showroom. He was also seen at three other showrooms where cars had been stolen as well as at an attempted robbery at a betting shop.
On July 18, 2018, Qayum was being taken for a test drive in a £17,800 BMW from Listers Audi. He then pointed a four-inch flick knife at the sale rep’s stomach.
He forced the victim to pull into a car park and to get out. The thief then got into the driver’s seat and drove off in a flash.
The bogus buyer also stole a Volkswagen Golf GTD, worth £18,999 from Motorpoint Car Supermarket in Lichfield Road on April 10, 2018.
He had been on a test drive with a sales rep when he claimed to have a knife before threatening the rep to exit the car.
On April 27, Qayum made off in a Hyundai i30 following a test drive from Motofair in Sheldon.
Three days after the Hyundai theft, Qayum tried to rob a William Hill branch in Ward End. He was armed with a syringe and grabbed a staff member before fleeing empty-handed.
Qayum was found guilty of three counts of robbery. He was also convicted of attempted robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a blade and four charges of driving while disqualified.
Detective Sergeant Tom Lyons said:
“This prolific offender has used threats and a knife to intimidate his victims.”
“A combination of strong forensics work and dedicated officers scouring hours of CCTV footage has resulted in him being convicted of 10 offences and sentenced to nine years in custody.”
As well as receiving the nine-year prison sentence, Zahir Qayum was banned from driving for seven and a half years.