Northfleet serial car thief jailed
PUBLISHED: 15:23 15 September 2010
A member of a gang of car thieves has been jailed for his part in a string of thefts at showrooms.
Colin Powell, 49, of Waterdales, Northfleet, was sentenced to four years when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday.
He admitted nine charges of conspiracy to commit burglary amounting to £100,000 in damage and stolen property in August.
The court heard how, along with two other men, Powell targeted businesses in Essex, London and Kent from February to May this year.
They included Hidson Citroen dealership in Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, which Powell and an accomplice visited between March 28 and March 29.
Keys to a Citroen Berlingo van were later found to be missing and the vehicle had been stolen.
On sentencing Recorder Gower said: “You’ve pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
“You were one of the three men not only engaged in destroying property behind the scenes using force to obtain these keys that were used then to steal the vehicles, but you were also used as a distraction to those members of staff engaged in their employment.
“This was a planned, audacious and repeated method.”
Detailed police investigations into the burglaries and the use of CCTV at the properties helped to identify Powell as one of the conspirators.
A search was carried out on May 6 at an address in Waterdales, where Powell was found. He ran off but was later located by officers and arrested.
Powell admitted in interview to being at all the offences and was used as a distraction whilst the other man broke into private areas of premises and stole car keys to high value vehicles.