‘Jig­gler’ thief stole goods and vans worth £170,000

Crook jailed for 44 months af­ter ad­mit­ting 12 of­fences

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Paul Hooper

A thief from Ash­ford tar­geted white vans – steal­ing £170,000 worth of goods – us­ing a tool known as a ‘Jig­gler’ key.

Po­lice had be­come con­cerned over the num­ber of ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing a tip­per, that had been swiped be­tween April and Au­gust 2014.

Pros­e­cu­tor Nina Ellin told Judge Heather Nor­ton: “Some­times a num­ber of thefts were car­ried out in one night.

“The ve­hi­cles be­longed to work­ing men across Kent, and of­ten con­tained valu­able tools or other equip­ment.”

She said many of the thefts of white Ford vans were done us­ing a ‘Tibbe’, a tool also known as a ‘Jig­gler’ key.

Ve­hi­cles were tar­geted in Buck­land Road, West­mor­land Close, Northum­ber­land Road, Hart Street and Post­ley Road in Maid­stone; Hunt­ing­don Road in Cox­heath; Lunsford Lane in Lark­field; and Cas­tle Road in Allington.

Can­ter­bury Crown Court heard how po­lice had been prob­ing 24 thefts or at­tempted thefts of tran­sit vans and tip­per lor­ries dur­ing that pe­riod.

Ms Ellin re­vealed that in Maid­stone, Med­way and Ash­ford, 52 sim­i­lar in­ci­dents had been recorded be­tween March and Novem­ber 2014.

James Steel, 31, now of The Beeches, God­mer­sham, but for­merly of Riverdale Road, Ash­ford, ad­mit­ted 12 of­fences of thefts and at­tempted thefts, and was jailed for a to­tal of 44 months.

The cheeky thief shouted out to the judge: “How long is that in years?” be­fore be­ing led away to the cells.

His pal, Wayne Byrne, 33, from Da­gen­ham, Es­sex, was jailed for 20 months af­ter ad­mit­ting five of­fences in­volv­ing £42,000 worth of prop­erty.

Ms Ellin said po­lice were able to put the men at the scene of the nu­mer­ous thefts by track­ing them through their mo­bile phone calls.

Steel and Lee Chap­man, 25, of Selby Road, Park­wood, were also stopped in July 2014 in Ash­ford in a hired white van with 650 ki­los of hand-rolled tobacco.

Both men were con­victed of cheat­ing the rev­enue out of £117,299 in tax, and Chap­man also pleaded guilty to deal­ing in drugs – all done in de­fi­ance of a sus­pended sen­tence. He was jailed for a to­tal of four and a half years.

Ms Ellin told how Chap­man re­fused to com­ment about the tobacco smug­gling but claimed an iPad found in a wash­ing bas­ket be­longed to his son and £2,200 in cash were the pro­ceeds of gam­bling and banger rac­ing.

Steven Bo­den, 42, of Bolts Hill, Chartham, was given a 12-month com­mu­nity or­der af­ter ad­mit­ting theft of a light­ing bar, and or­dered to re­main in­doors for the next two months un­der cur­few.

James Steel and a set of ‘Jig­gler’ keys like the ones he used to break into vans in Ash­ford, Maid­stone and Med­way

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.