And The Dumbest Criminal In The Automotive World Trophy Goes To…

How Not To Steal A Car, In One Easy Step.

Umair Bhatti
The Guardian

I’ve always wondered what goes on in my garage at night. You know, after I hand the keys to the attendant. Will he take my Morgan out for a spin? Then I survey row upon row of AMG, RS, and M cars, and I know beloved jalopy is safe. There are cameras everywhere. This is Manhattan. If someone saw it cruising around, it’d be on Instagram in fifteen minutes, and it wouldn’t take long to figure out where it came from.

I’m not saying stealing cars is ever a good idea — although trying can be fun — but I AM saying that stealing cars entrusted to you by the owner is a VERY bad idea.

Incredibly, It looks like one Umair Bhatti — the man behind London-based sports car storage business Garaged.comis exactly that dumb.

Not only did Bhatti borrow a vintage Porsche 912 entrusted to him by one of his clients, he then sold it. Did he have a plan beyond using the $60,000 proceeds to cover debts? Apparently not, because when Bhatti applied to the DVLA — the U.K.’s equivalent to the DMV — for a change of ownership, the Porsche’s real owner was immediately notified by mail.

Where’s the car now? Initial reports aren’t clear, but Bhatti just plead guilty to theft of a motor vehicle and is awaiting sentencing. He’s lucky the fraud charges were dropped, because now he can focus on his next big problem, which is that the rest of his Garaged.com clients read or watch the news.

Would you store your car there? I wouldn’t. Actually, I would. No one would be dumb enough to steal a Morgan. Or buy one. Oh, wait. I’ve bought two.

Is there a dumber car thief than this guy? If so, please let me know. I’d like to write about him/her.

Alex Roy, entrepreneur, President of Europe By Car, Editor-at-Large for The Drive, and author of The Driver, set the 2007 Transcontinental “Cannonball Run” Record in a BMW M5 in 31 hours & 4 minutes, and has set multiple "Cannonball" endurance driving records in Europe & the United States in the EV, 3-wheeler & Semi-Autonomous Classes. You may follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.