An organised gang who stole Land Rovers to order, shipped parts across the globe and snatched high-value cars while the owners were defrosting them have been given sentences totalling more than 30 years at Northampton Crown Court today.
Andra Hoyland, aged 28, formerly of Broughton, was the “chief thief” in the gang, which targeted vehicles across Northamptonshire, raiding farmers and residents in rural areas for Land Rovers and targeting running cars while the owners’ backs were turned.
He led a gang, which included Richard Loveridge, aged 21, from Ecton Lane, Ecton Brook, and hired driver Del Swane, aged 50, of Thirlmere Close, in Kettering.
Hoyland and Loveridge targeted cars across Northamptonshire, near Market Harborough and further afield in December 2010 when the region was gripped by a cold snap.
They preyed on drivers who left the engine of their cars running while defrosting their vehicles and on one occasion they even followed the car owner into his house and swiped the car keys before driving away.
The pair, who are already serving long sentences for the kidnap and robbery of a cash and carry worker, pleaded guilty to the theft of four vehicles in three days at the end of November and the start of December 2010.
The value of those thefts was estimated at a minimum of £68,000.
Hoyland was also the ringleader in a second gang of thieves, who stole Land Rover Discovery vehicles from Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire and elsewhere.
Hoyland, together with hired driver Swane, hit farmers while they were unfastening gates, while they also used “sophisticated” equipment to break into parked vehicles by by-passing the alarm and replacing the vehicle’s computer.
The court heard Hoyland had been provided with “theft kits” from Martin Warren, aged 52, who ran a “deeply criminal business” from his yard in Birmingham.
The court heard he would steal the Land Rovers and either drive them or have them driven to Martin Warren’s family business. Mobile phone data and ANPR hits were used to link the pair.
Once in Birmingham, the Land Rovers were stripped down and parts were sold on eBay to places as far away as Athens, Malta and even Dubai.
Martin Warren, aged 52, also oversaw the “ringing” of vehicles, by rebuilding Land Rovers with stolen parts.
Police discovered the site, which operated between 2005 and 2010, has processed business totalling more than £1 million.
They found a hidden floor safe inside the family home had more than £30,000 inside.
Martin Warren, his partner Jacqueline Neal, aged 52, and their sons Christopher Neal, aged 29, and Jason Warren, 22, were all convicted following a ten day trial last week.
Warren was found guilty of conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to convert criminal property and concealing criminal property.
Jacqueline Neal was convicted of conspiracy to convert criminal property, as well as seven charges of concealing criminal property and money laundering.
Jason Warren and Christopher Neal were both found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property and concealing criminal property.
At Northampton Crown Court today, Martin Warren was jailed for a total of nine years, while Jacqueline Neal was sentenced to 33 months in prison for her part in the enterprise.
She broke down in the dock and sobbed after sentence was passed.
Christopher Neal and Jason Warren were locked up for 18 months and two years respectively.
“Chief thief” Hoyland was handed two prison sentences, both of four years, to be served concurrently, while Loveridge was jailed for two-and-a-half years and Swane was sentenced to two years behind bars.