Published: 15:00, 28 March 2014 |
One stolen van and trailer contained “all the worldly goods”, worth about £50,000, of Latvian families returning home.
Brothers Henry and Matthew Dunn were each jailed for two-and-a-half years and Aaron Bird for 16 months.
Maidstone Crown Court heard vans, trucks and trailers were stolen in Kent between June 2012 and April last year and driven in convoy to a gipsy camp in Ship Lane, Aveley, South Ockenden, Essex.
Prosecutor Edmund Fowler said the vehicles were picked up by automatic number plate recognition at the Dartford crossing.
A tipper truck valued at £5,000 was stolen from Gorse Hill nursery in Dartford and escorted into Essex by a Mercedes car and Skoda Fabia.
Mr Fowler said Henry Dunn had been stop-checked in the Mercedes a number times and his brother had been stopped in the Skoda.
A Land Rover Defender worth £6,000 was stolen from a veterinary surgery in Meopham. Another Land Rover had a tracking device and was traced to the Essex travellers’ site.
The van and trailer containing the property of about 70 Latvian families was taken from outside an address in Horton Kirby.
A garage was broken into in Hartley and £1,500 worth of power tools were stolen.
“Even if you are not the generals in all this, you are pretty much at the top end of lieutenants.”
Henry Dunn, 32, and Matthew Dunn, 24, both of Caravan Site, South Ash Road, Barnsfield Park, Sevenoaks, and 23-year-old Bird, of no address, admitted theft.
Matthew Dunn also admitted burglary and Henry Dunn two fraud offences by making a false representation to an insurance company.
Mr Fowler said Henry Dunn had 11 convictions for 39 offences.
In September 2008 he was jailed for six years for burgling a Nationwide bank using a JCB, which became stuck, and theft of an ATM containing £26,000 from the Tollgate service station in Gravesend.
He was said to be a family man with young children. His wife is due to give birth again in June.
Matthew Dunn has three children aged one, two and three.
Judge Philip Statman said in the latest offences all three acted as a team in the latest offences and others were probably involved.
They were detected, he said, because of the skills of the police forces involved.
“This was sophisticated criminality,” said the judge. “Even if you are not the generals in all this, you are pretty much at the top end of lieutenants.”
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.