Blue badge fraudster left counting the cost after thieves broke into his car
Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2023
A Tooting man who was using a blue badge parking permit that had been stolen from a disabled motorist found out what it feels like to be a victim of this type of crime when someone broke into his car and stole it for a second time.
Tevin Evelyn was caught on separate occasions using two stolen blue badges to park his black Mercedes sports car for free outside his home in Longmead Road.
In late December 2022, his vehicle was spotted using a blue badge that had been stolen a few days previously from a disabled person aged 70 in Enfield, north London.
And when the council’s fraud investigators returned a few days later as part of their ongoing investigations, they saw he was using a different blue badge – this time stolen from a 42-year-old disabled woman living in Harrow, west London.
When questioned under caution by the investigators Mr Evelyn admitted that the first badge had been stolen when his car was broken into while parked in Croydon.
In court he admitted fraud and was handed a 12 month community order, ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and told to pay court costs of £1,114. This was on top of the £250 he also had to pay to get his Mercedes back after the council’s fraud team impounded it.
Jenny Yates, Wandsworth’s cabinet member for transport said: “Mr Evelyn will surely now have a better understanding of the distress and upset these types of crimes create. He has learned the lesson that this illegal trade in stolen blue badges is not a victimless crime.
“Sadly there are too many people who engage in this type of offending and their greed is fuelling an illicit market that is targeting some of society’s most vulnerable who suffer the anguish, heartache and financial burden of having their cars broken into.”
Joining Mr Evelyn in court was 28-year-old Omar Ebanks of Surrey House in Scarbrook Road, Croydon, who was caught using stolen blue badges to park two cars in Ashvale Road in Tooting.
The council’s investigators spotted a stolen blue badge in the window of his red Jaguar and another in his grey Hyundai. The badges had been stolen from an 83-year-old woman in Southwark and a 75-year-old Croydon resident.
After admitting the fraud charges, magistrates imposed a 12 month community order, ordered him to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and fined him £400 with a further £1,332 in court costs. This is on top of the £500 it cost him to retrieve his vehicles after they were impounded.
Abuse of the blue badge system is widespread in London and in other big cities because the permits allow holders to park virtually anywhere they like free of charge. This has fuelled a rise in the number of vehicle break-ins with thieves targeting cars belonging to disabled drivers in order to steal their badges.
The badges can only be used lawfully if the disabled person is either driving the vehicle or being carried as a passenger and being dropped-off or picked-up at that location. Any other use is a criminal offence.
The case was brought to court by investigators from the boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond, Merton, Kingston and Sutton who all work together in a partnership set up to combat fraud committed against the public purse across south-west London.
Anyone who has information about drivers misusing a blue badge in any of the five boroughs can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (020) 8871 8383.