Kettering gang jailed for more than 20 years

Clockwise, from top left: Grant Smith, Michael Cooper, Jay Buckland, Andrew Linnell and Dominic Watts. NNL-180131-091930005
Clockwise, from top left: Grant Smith, Michael Cooper, Jay Buckland, Andrew Linnell and Dominic Watts. NNL-180131-091930005

A gang of five men from Kettering and Burton Latimer have been jailed for more than 20 years after conspiring to steal motorbikes worth almost £190,000.

The men, aged between 23 and 33, pleaded guilty to the offences which took place during April 2017 in Abingdon in Oxfordshire, Swindon in Wiltshire and Harston and Wansford in Cambridgeshire and were investigated by Northamptonshire Police.

Grant Smith, 32, of Whitford Drive, Kettering, was sentenced to three years and three months.

Michael Cooper, 33, of Yarwell Court, Kettering, was sentenced to four years and 10 months.

Jay Buckland, 29, of Woodland Drive, Burton Latimer, was sentenced to five years and three months.

Andrew Linnell, 33, of Pennine Way, Kettering, was sentenced to four years and one month.

Dominic Watts, 23, of Whitford Drive, Kettering, was sentenced to three years and two months.

Det Sgt Ryan Catling, who led the investigation, said: “Northamptonshire Police is committed to robustly pursuing organised criminality and we welcome the sentence handed down in this case, and hope it demonstrates the seriousness with which the police and courts take this type of crime.

“The offenders, who all lived in the Kettering area, conspired together to commit several burglaries in different counties, specifically targeting high end, expensive motorbikes, to the value of nearly £190,000.

“It was a complex investigation and our detectives worked closely with officers from a number of police forces.

“Through this, we were able to gather intelligence and use other proactive tactics to establish evidence of conspiracy, which culminated in their arrest, charge and ultimate conviction.”

Det Insp Wayne Preece added: “Northamptonshire Police took the lead in this investigation because the suspects were identified as living in the county and because of the potential harm we believed they could do to businesses and the local community within Northamptonshire.

“These offenders were audacious in their crimes and thought they could get away with it.

“However, following a thorough and detailed investigation, and close liaison with colleagues in other forces, we were able to quickly arrest and charge those involved and bring them to justice.”