A MAN has slammed cops claiming they investigated the theft of his £30,000 BMW X5 for just 20 minutes.

Ray Sharman, 53, from Chelmsford, said thieves used a keyless device to steal his luxury car in the early hours of March 25.

He said police were called at around 4.30am to report the car stolen and was told a police officer would be in touch and was given a crime reference number.

Ray claims the following day, he received two letters from the police - one letter opening the case and another closing it.

Ray, a commercial executive, said: "The first one to tell us that we reported the crime and the crime was officially open and the second one was that they had closed the case because they had nothing else to investigate.

"They delivered both letters at the same time, it came in the post - lucky I opened it in the right order otherwise I wouldn't have read it correctly.

"It's bizarre really isn't it, what has probably happened is somebody has had a cheeky peek outside the window and couldn't find it and then said we will send a letter to close it.

"They washed their hands with it, it is like they worked with us for 20 minutes.

"It was almost like the car has been stolen, here is your crime reference number and that is it.

"There is obviously no attention that has gone into it, no effort into finding the car, no updates, no nothing whatsoever."

Essex police said they haven't closed the case "as any additional information received in relation to the incident will be looked into and investigated where appropriate."

Ray's wife Suzanne, who works in education, had called the police several times after receiving the letters in which they said there were no updates despite them mentioning their neighbours had CCTV looking down their road.

He added: "They have done nothing, I don't know what they have done. They just don't want any unsolved cases on their records.

"Not one person has come round and said are you OK. Some people get emotional and scared about these things, there is no follow up.

"Alright, my cars gone, but there is nothing to stop finding out what's going on to try and prevent it.

"I just don't know what the police service are doing anymore.

"There has been no phone call or anything to us. They have just been completely unhelpful. There is a lack of effort with the police and they are just not interested in crime.

"I can't believe the people who joined the people force joined to do what they are doing."

The parents-of-two boys, aged 25 and 20, have been living in Chelmsford, for around 15 years and said they felt that crime in the area has "got worse" over time.

He believes it is because "the people above the police" are not prioritising crime in the area.

Ray added: "It is not so much that we blame the police officers, because we don't. "It is the people above.

"What are the police doing, what are we paying them for?

"There is no proof that they are battling up against the gangs.

"There are drug dealers around and doing anything they want".

An Essex police spokesperson said: "We assess every call we receive according to threat, harm and risk posed, the vulnerability of those involved and the investigative opportunities available to us.

"This determines if crimes are allocated to an officer for further investigation.

"When a crime is filed, it means that there are currently no other lines of enquiries for our officers to follow up upon.

"It doesn't mean that the crime has been closed as any additional information received in relation to the incident will be looked into and investigated where appropriate."

The criticism follows a series of controversial moves with Essex police which have faced a number of budget cuts over the previous years.

Essex Police chief constable Stephen Kavanagh previously said a lack of police funding should be treated "as a matter of shame" which is reducing officers' ability to prevent and detect crime in the way they would like.

The force has lost 484 neighbourhoods officers and PCSOs combined since 2012 - a 61 per cent drop in five years.

In December 2015, it was announced that 15 police stations would be closed.

Mr Kavanagh said he was pleased there were now more than 3,000 officers but numbers should be nearer 3,400, to deal with digital crime, domestic abuse and burglary.