Car thieves who stole from across Kent jailed
Two prolific thieves have been jailed following the discovery of stolen vehicles and car parts in outbuildings at property near Sittingbourne.
Joby Wilson, 46, from Tunbridge Wells (left image) and Anthony Bishop, 48, from Sittingbourne stole vehicles and either dismantled them or modified their appearance in order to sell them on.
CCTV images, forensic evidence and phone data connected the pair to the crimes.
Both were found guilty of conspiring to steal and handling stolen goods at Maidstone Crown Court, on Tuesday 10 September 2019.
Stolen car parts
On 3 January 2018
, investigating officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate raided outbuildings at an address in Stockbury
They found four complete stolen vehicles, which were in the process of being refurbished and repainted to change their appearance.
Numerous parts were also discovered including doors, bonnets and engine components which were linked to four reported thefts.
Other parts seized by officers had security identification numbers drilled out or removed in attempts to avoid detection.
The stolen items were found to be linked to reports of thefts in December 2017 from across the county, but some parts were stolen as far back as November 2014.
On 1 April 2018 officers investigating a stolen tractor from Mereworth spotted a Ford Transit van that had been seen in connection with the theft at stables in Crowborough, East Sussex.
Inside the back of the van they found Wilson moving a hay bale.
He was arrested on suspicion of theft of the tractor. A search of the stables resulted in the discovery of a stolen horse box and motorbike.
Bishop was arrested on 26 April 2018 in Sittingbourne after he was stopped by officers and found to be driving a lorry with a stolen crane attached.
CCTV, forensic evidence and phone data connected the pair to the vehicle discovery at the Stockbury site.
Wilson, of Cranwell Road, Tunbridge Wells and Bishop, of Miller Close, Sittingbourne pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Both were found guilty and were each sentenced to four years and six months in prison.
Detective Inspector James Derham of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘Wilson and Bishop are prolific offenders who repeatedly stole vehicles from across Kent for a number of years. I have no doubt that they would have carried on offending.
‘The tenacity of our officers investigating this highly complex case has meant that they have now been brought to justice. We understand the concerns members of the public have regarding vehicle theft and I hope the outcome of this case demonstrates how seriously we take these offences and will continue to do so.’