A gang of 11 men who were involved in the theft of Land Rovers, Ford Transit vans and vehicle parts worth tens of thousands of pounds have been brought to justice.
And one of the men has spoken out about his involvement with the group.
Nathan Williams, 34, of Sanderling Way, Forest Town, Mansfield, states he had nothing to do with the rest of the Chop Shop gang and became involved because he was trying to help a friend.
Williams said: “I had no involvement with the gang and the officer in charge of the case confirmed this in court.
“I was asked by my friend to help him get rid of his truck. I had seen various things for sale from Simon Evans on Facebook so I approached him and he said yes.”
Williams, who contacted the Chad following his conviction, said this was as far as his involvement went and he had no idea Evans was involved with an investigation.
He said: “I want to get myself away from the association with the Chop Shop. It was one stupid big mistake and I wish I hadn’t done it.
“I asked Simon to help my friend and it is the worst thing I have ever done. It was only by chance that I asked him to help.
“I can’t believe I did it but I can’t change it and I hold my hands up. But I need to try and get it out there that I wasn’t involved with the Chop Shop.”
The other offenders included Gavin Critchley, 32, Bradley Ellis, 27, Simon Evans, 31, Peter Houghton, 32, Darren Keeton, 29, Karl Ray, 29, Andrew Roberts, 41, Ben Stubbs, 26, Aaron Wood, 27 and Gareth Houlden, 37, all from the Sheffield area.
Police revealed they originally spotted a stolen Fiesta on cameras and after it had been given new number plates it was tracked to Unstone service station where it was involved in the theft of a Land Rover.
The stolen Fiesta, according to Prosecuting barrister Jonathan Dunne, was also linked to the theft of Land Rover headlights from Chesterfield and the theft of a spare wheel taken from a van.
Mr Dunne said police subsequently recovered a number of stolen Land Rovers and linked these to a unit at Staveley which they believed was operating as a chop shop.
Police launched an investigation with surveillance cameras and described activities at the unit as “pure criminality”. Williams was found guilty of conspiring to steal from between March, 2014, to October, 2014 and was given a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for two years.