Gang stole motorcycles, clothes, jam and travel Cluedo sets in £150,000 lorry thefts across south east England
PUBLISHED: 14:23 28 September 2016 | UPDATED: 14:23 28 September 2016
The 11 men have been sentenced to a total of more than 35 years in prison
Members of a gang who stole £150,000 worth of goods from lorries across the south east, including motorcycles and travel Cluedo sets, have been sentenced to a total of more than 35 years in prison.
Of the 11 men appearing in court in connection to the thefts, which took place in Kent and Essex between July and October 2014, ten admitted conspiracy to steal and the other was found guilty following a two week trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
They were all sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, receiving 28 years and nine months for conspiracy to steal.
Some of the offenders were outstanding for other, unrelated offences, and a combined total of six years and 10 months imprisonment was imposed for these.
The court heard that on May 14, 2015 officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate executed 10 search warrants at homes in Essex and London.
A total of ten people were arrested as a result of this and a further three would later receive court summons.
These arrests formed part of an investigation into 35 offences where items had been stolen from lorries parked at locations across the two counties.
Most of the offences were committed overnight and saw the offenders steal items by slashing the side curtain of a parked lorry before emptying its contents into one of six different vehicles they were using to commit the offences.
Five of these vehicles had also been reported stolen and false number plates were used to try and avoid detection.
Despite this, officers were able to pin the offenders to the scene of the offences by coupling a vast amount of mobile phone data with information from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.
Places targeted in Kent include locations in Aylesford, Blue Bell Hill, Gravesend and Snodland.
Detective Inspector Matthew Scott, who was the senior investigating officer for this case, said: “The offenders in this case targeted lorries at random and stole whatever they came across.
“They got away with items ranging from off-road motorcycles to clothes and jam to sets of travel Cluedo. In total, the items stolen had a combined estimated value of £158,000.
“My officers were able to put together a complex and compelling case by using clues the offenders left us along the way.
“The thoroughness of their work is shown by the fact all but one of the offenders appearing in court pleaded guilty and I am pleased that this this conviction has been secured.
“This case shows that Kent Police has the resources to pursue offenders responsible for committing complex offences of this nature.
“I would encourage lorry drivers to be vigilant for this type of offending and urge them to report any suspicious behaviour to Kent Police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.”
Kane Hill, 24, of Appleby Road in Canning Town, pleased not guilty but was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
Ashley Andrews, 30 and of Durham Road in Dagenham was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment while Ryan Campion, 30, and of Northumberland Avenue in Hornchurch was sentenced to two years and 10 months imprisonment for conspiracy to steal and a further three years for an unrelated charge of possessing with intent to supply drugs.
Furthermore, Terence Donnelly, 37, of Birch Close in Canning Town was sentenced to one year and nine months and Stephen Fry, 27, of Eastbourne Road, Stratford, was sentenced to 34 months imprisonment for conspiracy to steal and received a received 18 month prison sentence, to be served consecutively, for unrelated charges of supplying drugs and breaching a drug referral order.
He also received a four month concurrent sentence for an unrelated charge of escaping from lawful custody.
Daniel Hession, 31, and of Denny Close in East Ham, was jailed for 18 months, Ricky Holloway, 23, and of Silvertown in Canning Town for three years and four months and Dean Kingston, 32, of Ozolins Way in Canning Town for three years.
Steven Knowles, 25 and of Princes Close in Sidcup received a 15 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, while Alfie Turner, 26, of Bond Street in Stratford was sentenced to three years and four months for conspiracy to steal and one year, to be served consecutively for, an unrelated assault.
Finally, Bradley Wilkins, 35, and of Hayday Road in Canning Town was sentenced to three years and four months for conspiracy to steal and a further one year and four months, to be served consecutively, for an unrelated burglary.