Building firm owner Ken Baker watched in horror as a thief jumped into his Mercedes Benz Sprinter and drove off after he was tricked into getting out of it.
Baker was in Dekker Road, Dulwich, when he was approached by the thief’s accomplice, who told him smoke was coming out of the back of the van.
It contained thousands of pounds worth of tools and steam-cleaning equipment. The carjacking last Wednesday afternoon is the latest in a series over the last year, with similar tactics used in all the cases.
It is feared they are the work of the same gang.
Baker’s partner Nicky Coste, 26, told the London Evening Standard: “The one who told him to get out was a little kid – that is why my partner didn’t suspect him.
“As they were getting away they hit a parked car and just missed someone on the pavement. It was not an incident that just happened. It was organised, they were like clockwork.”
Another building firm owner, Steve Cripps, told how his Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was stolen in Wells Park Road, Sydenham after one of his builders stopped when he saw a man screaming at him to pull over.
The builder got out, only for the stranger to jump in and speed off. Cripps, said his employee was checking the van out and “before he knew it someone had driven it off”.
“It will end up with people sticking guns in people’s faces,” said Cripps.