Somercotes theft gang jailed

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Four men have been jailed after police launched an operation to catch a gang who had been stealing from lorries.

David Whiteley and Gareth Hunt were sentenced to 18 months, Richard Ward was given 16 months and Dominic Bailey was handed a 12 month sentence.

The men all pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal from a motor vehicle between July and December 2012.

A man called police in the early hours of 18th July last year to report that he could see four men taking items from a lorry parked in Garnham Close, Somercotes and loading them into a van.

The men had gone when police arrived but they had left a van behind, which contained the stolen property. A stanley knife was discovered inside the van and later fingerprinted. The prints matched those of Dominic Bailey while DNA found on a bottle inside the van matched Richard Ward and the pair were arrested.

Police linked the crime to subsequent offences where property was taken from lorries in Somercotes and several suspicious incidents where men in an Audi had been seen looking at lorries parked up in South Normanton. On one occasion, David Whiteley was identified as the driver and Gareth Hunt as the passenger.

Police set up night-time patrols around Somercotes and when Whiteley and Hunt were sighted in Somercotes again, they were arrested.

Whiteley (33) gave his address in court as HMP Nottingham although he was living in Leeds at the time of the offences. Hunt (31) gave the same prison address but also lived in Leeds previously. Ward (43) is of no fixed abode while Bailey (23) is of Edison Way, Guiseley, Leeds.