East London gang who stole £3m in high-end cars caught on camera at McDonald's drive thru in stolen car

Francesca Gillett
Happy meal: CCTV from a McDonald's drive thru captured two of the criminals, Mahmood and Bux, in a stolen car: Met Police

A gang who stole high-end cars worth nearly £3 million were captured on camera as they queued up for a McDonald’s drive thru in one of the thieved cars.

The eight-person gang broke into peoples’ homes during the night to steal car keys before making off in expensive Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedes.

The criminals also drove about in minicabs emblazoned with Transport for London’s “private hire” stickers to steal keyless cars by using technology to spoof the unlocking of the car.

Some of the stolen motors were exported to Africa while others were broken down for parts.

Mugshots: Khuram Zaman and gang ringleader Manjit Sandhu. (Met Police)

Police caught the gang after raiding a pub in east London’s Manor Park belonging to the father of the gang’s ringleader, Manjit Sandhu, 32, where they found bags of stolen car keys in the basement.

Police also found key programming technology, blank keys and a tool for picking car locks.

Guilty: Sufiyan Mahmood and Faisal Khan. (Met Police)

Sandhu went into hiding but police tracked him and his fellow gang members down during raids at their home addresses.

Police discovered the gang had carried out more 120 crimes between March 2015 and August last year, working out as more than seven a month.

Gang members: Heena Bux and Geoffrey Cairns. Met Police car theft gang (Met Police)

A dash cam on one of the stolen BMWs caught the criminals on camera as they got in and out of the car while CCTV footage from McDonald’s drive thru pictures two of the gang members in a stolen car.

DI Caroline Clooney said: “This was an extremely prolific and well-organised criminal gang.

Found guilty: Mohammed Ariful Islam. (Met Police)

“They brought distress to many victims whose homes they broke into, who not only lost their vehicles but in many cases were traumatised by the thought of someone having been in their house while they slept.

“Although the case involved over 120 offences, it is clear that this team were responsible for an even greater number of crimes.”

The Met Police DI also issued a warning. She said: “Almost all of the houses that were burgled had uPVC front doors that had not been double locked, allowing the offenders to gain entry very quickly using simple tools.

Nicked: Some of the car keys found by police in east London raids. (Met Police)

“I would urge all householders to ensure that their front door is correctly locked at night - this means not only lifting the handle on a uPVC door, but also using the key to lock it.

“Unless it is locked with the key, the door remains vulnerable to the method employed by the criminals in this case."

Sandhu, of Fairlawns Close in Hornchurch, Heena Bux, 21, of Walwood Road in Leytonstone, Khuram Zaman, 20, of Violet Road in Walhamstow and Mohammed Islam, 21, of Knox Road, Forest Gate, were all found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal

Sufiyan Mahmood, 19, of Stracey Road in Forest Gate, and Faisal Khan, 23, of Chestnut Avenue, Forest Gate, both pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit burglary and to steal.

Humzah Bhariwala, 23, of Dunbar Road, Forest Gate, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary while Geoffrey Cairns, 55, of Swindon Lane, Romford was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary after having pled guilty to conspiracy to steal.

All eight are due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on April 11 and 12.