A Birmingham man has been jailed for four years for his part in a a multi-million pound "car-ringing" gang, who stole dozens of luxury vehicles including socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson's BMW.
During their "highly sophisticated" crime spree, the five-man gang toured the capital with a shopping list of top-of-the-range models.
Once "targets" had been identified, keys were later stolen during burglaries, or false documents and names used to obtain copies from overseas dealers.
The cars, worth up to £350,000 each, were then driven away, given new identities by a "master forger", and exported in a scam reminiscent of Nicolas Cage's hit film Gone in 60 Seconds. Most ended up in Maastricht and Antwerp in Holland, before being delivered to the United Arab Emirates, although a few went to Singapore and South Africa.
London's Southwark Crown Court heard Ms Palmer-Tomkinson's £50,000 BMW 645 convertible was spotted outside her London home. But before it was taken its details were recorded on a mobile phone, and a forged car logbook and bogus passport used to get a "replacement" key from a Stuttgart outlet.
The high-powered vehicle was later found at Birmingham City airport.
Some of the socialite's personal possessions - including correspondence and a jeweller's receipt - were subsequently discovered on the coffee table of gang leader Imran Ganchi, 29.
The court heard the BMW was just one of six recovered of the 34 stolen by the gang during its slick three-and-a-half year crime spree. The others remain with unidentified new owners, most of whom apparently paid "near market value" for them.
They include dozens of Porsches, Mercedes, Range Rovers, Toyota Land Cruisers, as well as a £350,000 SLR McLaren supercar, which police believe was the first of its type stolen in England.
Apart from the socialite, owners targeted included diplomats, the "head of Al Jazeera television" and a number of unnamed "high profilers".
The court heard the thieves, convinced they were untouchable, videoed themselves at the wheel of high-powered heists.
One mobile phone clip showed 21-year-old Yusef Kaduji apparently trying to verify the 208mph McLaren's acclaimed 3.6 second 0-60 time.
Although the "used value" of the stolen cars was over £1.5 million, the final tally would have approached £2.5 million had the gang remained free to honour its bulging order book.
Mastermind Ganchi, a father-of-two with addresses in Mellows Road and Rachel Close, Ilford, Essex was jailed for six years;
Kaduji, of Jephson Road, Forest Gate, east London, got two years; forger Hameed Nawaz, 31, of Ivy Road, Luton, Bedforshire received three years; and Shazad Hussain, 31, of Springford Road, Moseley, Birmingham, was given four years.
A fifth gang member, Shakeel Shoukat, 21, of Central Park Road, Forest Gate, was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years, with a tagging and curfew requirement.
They variously admitted conspiracies involving car thefts and money laundering between June 1 2003 and January 1 this year.
Hussain also asked for the handling of two stolen Mercedes SL500's and a Toyota Land Cruiser to be considered. Kaduji made a similar request involving an Aston Martin.