Havering people jailed for part in �1m car theft ring

Five people, including two from Havering, were jailed on Monday for their role in a gang which stole cars worth nearly �1million across Essex.

Four men were sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court after earlier admitting charges of burglary and stealing motor vehicles.

Simon Boyle, 44, of Roman Road, Mountnessing, was jailed for three years and six months; Bernie Reilly 40, also of Roman Road, Mountnessing, was jailed for three years; Lee Fowler 19, of Chase Cross Road, Collier Row, was jailed for three years; Vladimir Bajus, 25, of Romford Road, Forest Gate, was jailed for two years and three months; and Tracey Kelvey, 47, of Lindfield Road, Harold Hill, was jailed for 15 months for her involvement in the crime and four months for possession of cannabis and production of cannabis which she pleaded guilty to.

Fowler admitted 28 offences, Boyle admitted nine, Reilly admitted seven, Bajus admitted six and Kelvey, who assisted in the removal and disposal of stolen vehicles, pleaded guilty to concealing criminal property.

The court heard that the gang targeted more than 40 homes across Essex between May and September 2010.

Of the 37 cars stolen, 18 were later recovered by police, some as far afield as Staffordshire, and Glamorgan.

Gang members broke in to properties in the early hours of the morning, specifically to find the ignition keys to valuable cars parked outside.They targeted mainly top-of-the-range cars including Mercedes, BMWs and Land Rovers.

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They rarely drove the cars too far from the scene of the crime and left them parked in quiet residential streets until the vehicles could be “cloned” with false number plates based on the registration numbers of legitimate similar vehicles.

Four members of the gang were arrested in September 2010 when they returned to collect a car had been found parked in suspicious circumstances at Kelvedon.

Det Ins Richard Thomas from Essex Police, said after the sentencing: “It was a painstaking and extremely complex investigation that involved 70,000 items of evidence and hundreds of thousands of images, many from internet car sales sites.”

Chief Supt Michelle Dunn added: “This has been an extremely successful operation and officers have worked tirelessly and diligently to bring these car thieves to justice.”