Gang jailed after stealing more than half a million pounds worth of vehicles across five counties - including Warwickshire
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A gang who stole more than half a million pounds worth of vehicles has been jailed after targeting sites across five counties - including Warwickshire.
Thirty-five vehicles were stolen across Warwickshire, Coventry, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire over a five-year period between December 2016 and March 2021.
The gang from Nuneaton targeted vehicles with keyless technology parked at residential properties and businesses using electronic devices that allowed them to gain entry and drive away in a matter of seconds.
The stolen vehicles were either broken down for parts or the offenders used a sophisticated process to change the identification of the vehicles, selling them on to unsuspecting buyers who had no idea they were stolen.
Four men were jailed for a combined total of more than 14 years at Warwick Crown Court yesterday (Monday January 29) after being convicted of conspiring to steal motor vehicles.
James Griffiths and Scott Prosser were arrested after a van was spotted in convoy with a car stolen from Dordon.
Officers tracked the van to an industrial unit in Nuneaton and a short time later the stolen car showed up.
Analysis of seized mobile phones led officers to James Wright who was identified as the ringleader of the gang. He ran the operation from his house in Nuneaton where he arranged for the cars to be cloned before insuring them and then selling them to unsuspecting buyers.
Further phone analysis also led officers to Luke Griffiths who had helped to get the vehicles insured.
The investigation was carried out by the vehicle crime taskforce that was set up around that time to address an increase in vehicle crime in the county and across the region.
James Wright, 38, of Cedar Road, Nuneaton was jailed after for four years and nine months after pleading guilty to conspiring to steal motor vehicles.
James Griffiths, 30, of Barton Road, Nuneaton was jailed for four years and six months after pleading guilty to conspiring to steal motor vehicles.
Scott Prosser, 53, of Waverley Avenue, Nuneaton was jailed for three years after being found guilty of conspiring to steal motor vehicles.
Luke Griffiths, 31, of Hillcrest Road, Nuneaton was jailed for three years and one month after pleading guilty to conspiring to steal motor vehicles.
Detective Constable Jack Maguire from Warwickshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “This gang travelled around the region brazenly stealing these vehicles.
“The widespread nature of their offending caused a great deal of distress to the victims, and I am pleased they have been brought to justice.
“This case should send the message that we are committed to getting justice for victims, addressing vehicle crime, and tackling organised criminal gangs.
“Car companies are getting wiser to this type of crime and are putting more measures in place to protect their vehicles. In the meantime, we continue to ask people with keyless vehicles to take extra precautions including using a steering wheel lock and keeping the key fob in a faraday bag.”