Men jailed for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles

23 Feb 2018 17:00 PM

Op Defiant [View Full Size]

Three men jailed following an investigation into theft of vehicles.

The sentencing follows Operation Defiant, a 2 year long investigation into theft of motor vehicles throughout the Northumbria & Durham Police force areas. The investigation includes over 45 thefts of transit offences and has a total loss value of over £500K.

Offenders travelled around to identify vehicles which they would later return to steal. Together they would travel to the area in one or two motor vehicles before using specialised equipment to enter the vehicles before overriding the engine. The vehicles would then be stolen and stored in secure units or compounds; eventually being dismantled and sold on as parts.

Warrants were carried out in April 2016 with the men pleading guilty on Thursday, January 4, at Newcastle crown Court. Today (February, 23) three have been been sentenced for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.

The men are:

Tony Curtis, aged 27, of Ripley Avenue, North Shields, was sentenced to 5 years 1 month. He was also given a serious crime prevention order imposed for 5 years from his date of release.
Stuart Scott, aged 36, of Horsley Road, Newcastle, was sentenced to 2 years 9 months.
Stephen Oliver, aged 19, of Ripley Avenue, North Shields, was sentenced to 1 year 8 months.

Sentencing for a fourth man - Michael Wade, aged 27, of Queens Court, Gateshead - has been adjourned until March 2. He will be sentenced for handling stolen goods.

Significant recoveries including stolen transit vans, other suspected stolen vehicles, stolen vehicle parts, items used in commission of theft and stolen property have been recovered during the investigation.

Detective Sergeant Jason Kell, from Northumbria Police, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into this operation and the sentences not only reflect that but go a long way to giving the victims of these crimes some closure.

“This is a fantastic example of how we proactively target organised criminal gangs committing offences across our region.

“These men were organised criminals and their crimes caused great stress and concern for the victims and the communities they were targeting. This sends a strong message to any other criminals out there that we will work tirelessly to ensure you are brought to justice.”

View the full news release