Stolen van scammers jailed for "major criminal enterprise"
PUBLISHED: 22:44 14 July 2015 | UPDATED: 22:44 14 July 2015
Pair's underground operation almost put law-abiding citizens out of business, court heard
TWO men have been jailed for selling stolen van parts worth nearly £750,000.
Lee and Dave Pearce ran their criminal operation from a rented business unit on the Isle of Sheppey, where they stripped at least 64 stolen Ford Transit vans for parts.
Lee Pearce then sold the parts at his business in Green Street Green, Dartford, mixing them with legitimate stock.
Detective Sergeant Don Share said: “This was fast becoming a major criminal enterprise.
“The impact the thefts had on self-employed victims and small businesses is frightening. The loss of a vehicle containing tools and equipment has placed many in debt and come close to putting some out of business.”
The pair, both from Bromley, admitted two counts of conspiracy to receive stolen goods at Maidstone Crown Court.
Dave Pearce, 44, of Ballamore Road, was jailed for three years and four months. Lee Pearce, 31, of Keedonwood Road, was jailed for 18 months.
Paul Aylward, 34, of Roundtable Road, Bromley, admitted handling stolen goods and was given an eight-month suspended jail sentence.