NINE MEN have been jailed for almost 30 years between them after pleading guilty to conspiring to steal vehicles.
The incidents took place in several areas across West Mercia and other parts of the Midlands, including Bromsgrove, Worcester and Kidderminster.
The sentences were handed out to the thieves at Worcester Crown Court and include Leslie Taylor, 33, of Rosewood Court, Bilston, who was imprisoned for four years and Rocky Butler, 35, of Fullwood Crescent, Dudley, who was caged for five years and four months.
Yawar Jaffari, 42, of Carlton Road, London, received three years and nine months, James Bailey, 36, of Edison Road, Walsall, was given five years and four months and James Taylor, 26, of Harden Close, Walsall, was jailed for two years and eight months.
Among the others were Terence Gould, 46, of Botany Road, Walsall, Colin Brookes, 30, of Hunter Crescent, Walsall, and Richard Edwards, 29, of Chapel Street, Brierley Hill, who were all given two years in prison and Paul Kendall, 42, of Irvine Road, Walsall – he received a one year, four-month sentence. All of them have also each had to pay a £120 victim surcharge.
The thefts and attempted thefts – 81 offences in total – were carried out between March 1, 2012 and April 11, 2013.
Almost a third of them – 25 in total – were in West Mercia.
Among the makes and models of the vehicles taken were Toyota Hiluxes, Toyota Hiaces, Toyota Landcruisers and Vauxhall Bravas.
Once stolen, they were dismantled with the engines and gearboxes being exported to the United Arab Emirates, whilst the remainder of the chassis and shells were weighed in at scrap yards.
Two others – Luke Moore, 26, of Leys Crescent, Brierley Hill, and Gary Winter, 31, of Goscote Place, Walsall – have previously been convicted and sentenced for their part in the crimes. Moore received a suspended sentence and Winter was jailed for 16 weeks.
Det Con Karl High said it was a lengthy and complex investigation into a large group, for a large number of offences across many policing areas.
He added a number of different policing techniques were used to identify those responsible and prosecute them.
“It is clear that this was organised criminality for commercial gain.
“Many of the victims have lost their vehicles including tools used in the course of their trades and professions, preventing them from working and further compounding the offences.
“Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning that vehicle crime will not be tolerated,” he added.