More than 100 cars have been returned to their owners after a parking firm operating near Gatwick Airport appeared to cease trading.
Sussex Police said it had received several reports of passengers booking their cars into the care of Gatwick First Parking, but not having their vehicle returned on their arrival from the airport.
In a statement the force said the company, which is not a Gatwick Airport approved meet-and-greet parking company and has no relationship with the airport, appearsa to have ceased trading.
Officers have found about 120 vehicles across Sussex and Surrey in the last few days and have returned them to their owners.
The company’s office was found in Surrey, where officers also discovered keys for vehicles which had been collected from passengers.
Because this is a civil matter Sussex Police has no control to seize the keys or cars.
Our priority is to find and return their vehicles to them as soon as we possibly can.Sergeant Darren Taylor
But the force did contact landowners and partner agencies to help owners find their vehicles.
Despite this about 30 keys to vehicles have yet to be found.
Sergeant Darren Taylor, of the Gatwick policing team, said: ‘It’s essential that Gatwick Airport passengers use official on-airport parking, or companies registered with Gatwick’s off-airport approved parking operators scheme only, to avoid this sort of thing from happening.
‘We’re carrying out further enquiries to locate the outstanding vehicles, and the owners of those vehicles will be contacted and kept up to date. Our priority is to find and return their vehicles to them as soon as we possibly can.
‘We’re also extremely grateful to everyone who has assisted us in contacting passengers to reunite them with their vehicles. Without their support, we would have had a far harder task.’
Have you been affected by the Gatwick First Parking situation? Contact the newsroom on 02392 622114 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.