A COCKY car crook who doctored his personalised registration plate to read S20LUN has come to a halt behind bars.

Arrogant Shanwaz Khan and his gang of thieves ran a £1m racket stealing expensive cars and breaking them up to ship the parts abroad.

During a six-month investigation cops discovered Khan, aged 30, used several industrial units, including one in Northfield Road, Dudley, to break up vehicles, which were taken from driveways after car-key burglaries or in violent car jackings.

Detective constable Mo Azir, from West Midlands Police, said: “We meticulously pieced together their network of premises and, when officers raided one unit in Aston, we found an Aladdin’s cave of stolen cars and parts. Many of these were high-value luxury cars that had been brutishly chopped up.”

Khan, from Marsh Lane, Erdington, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary and handle stolen goods and was jailed for seven years.

He came to the attention of police when officers spotted his Audi RS4 − sporting the S20LUN plates − in convoy with a stolen Mercedes driving through Birmingham in March 2012.

Many of the stolen car parts were sold to unwitting internet customers.

Dc Azir said: “The scale of their criminal operation was vast and they showed a complete disregard to the trail of destruction and misery left behind to victims of these offences.

“The brazen attitude of Shanwaz Khan was typified by his personalised number plate; this was a clear jibe at the authorities and he believed his underground theft racket was going unnoticed. The joke is on him now, though, as he starts a long prison term."