Three jailed for £105,000 Land Rover thefts conspiracy across Shropshire
Three men are today behind bars for their role in a conspiracy to steal Land Rovers worth £105,000 from owners across Shropshire.
Ring leader Ryan Davies, Frank Thompson, both of Telford, and Liam Boden, of Wombourne, were handed jail sentences totalling six years relating to the theft and attempted thefts of 12 vehicles, valued at £105,000 in total.
Mr Jonathan Barker, prosecuting, said the gang targeted cars parked at locations including private homes, Telford Central Train Station and Harper Adams University near Newport, and from Eccleshall, near Stafford.
He told the court: "The case is about a conspiracy driven by Ryan Davies to steal Land Rovers. Between September 23, 2016, and February 5, 2017, Davies was involved in the theft or attempted theft of 12 different Land Rover Defenders. He was assisted by Thompson on nine occasions, Boden on six and Grant Hill on one occasion.
"Thompson and Boden played a significant role in the conspiracy, put simply without them Davies would not have been able to affect his plan to steal vehicles. It is of note that Thompson has relevant previous convictions. Hill assisted Davies on once occasion and has pleaded guilty to a substantive count of theft.
"Some vehicles were recovered. Many others were not.
"The crown says that each conspirator was financially motivated and even if they were not involved directly in the onward sale of disposal of the vehicle, they would have made a financial gain.
"It is a particular feature of this case that one victim, Harper Adams, was repeatedly targeted," Mr Barker told Shrewsbury Crown Court on Thursday.
He said arrests were made after number plate checks and mobile phone mapping placed Davies, Thompson and Boden together at several incidents. Evidence also showed that Davies was involved in a Land Rover theft from near Oakengates Theatre. Police pursued it along the A5 at Gailey, but were forced to abandon the chase on safety grounds.
All three admitted conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and admitted theft of vehicle batteries to the value of £194 belonging to Gary Corfield on November 7, 2016.
Davies also admitted theft of a Ford Ka outside Thomas Telford School on January 18, 2018, and accepted that he breached an 18-month suspended jail sentence for theft in 2017.
Jailing Davies, Thompson and Boden, Judge Peter Barrie said: "You have taken part in several events from 2016 to 2017 when there was a spate of thefts and attempted thefts of Land Rover Defenders at addresses across Shropshire and that has led three of you here today charged with conspiracy, with each of you helping each other to carry out these offences.
"You, Davies, were a factor in every one of the events. It is clear that you were the main factor in each of them. Having driven to the places you played a leading role that involved stealing vehicles worth more than £100,000.
"You heard it described to the court that it wasn't merely a matter of pounds and pence to the victims. It caused people many problems, including loss of earnings and inconvenience. I have to take all these things into account in sentencing you."
Ring leader Davies, 27, of Freeston Terrace, St George's, Telford, was jailed for a total of three years and eight months. Thompson, 23, of Newfield Drive, Trench, Telford, also admitted an offence of perverting the course of justice and was jailed for a total of 14 months. Boden, 26, of Elder Grove, Wombourne, Staffordshire, was jailed for a total of 12 months.
They must serve half the terms before being released on licence.
Barrister Mr Paul Smith, mitigating, for Davies, said that he had a "history of diagnosed difficulties linked with drug abuse".
A fourth man Grant Hill, 19, of Victoria Road, Wellington, Telford, who admitted one count of theft relating to the Eccleshall incident was made subject to a 12-month community order with requirements to attend 30 activity days, attend a thinking skills programme for 19 days. He must also carry out 200 hours unpaid work.
Hill was arrested following a police pursuit where a screwdriver was found in his pocket and phone evidence linked him to Davies.
Detective Sergeant Steven Miller, of West Mercia Police, said: "I hope today's sentencing demonstrates we do not tolerate vehicle crime within our policing areas, and when it does happen, we will ensure that we take every possible step to bring those responsible to justice."
A proceeds of crime hearing will follow.
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