Trio jailed for £2million computer chip plot
Computer chip thieves
Adrian Gowers, Darren Tyrrell and Desmond Schwartz
Three men who stole almost £2million of computer chips have
been sentenced to a total of more than 12 years behind bars.
Adrian Gowers, 48, of Langdale Close, Gillingham; Darren
Tyrrell, 24, of Thomas Road, Sittingbourne; and Desmond Schwartz,
39, of Corton Close, Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, all pleaded
guilty to their involvement in a planned, "professional theft" of
the silicon chips, known as wafers, from an industrial estate near
London's Heathrow Airport.
The chips were described at Maidstone Crown Court as an
"expensive commodity" and had arrived from Ireland by lorry in
September last year as part of a larger consignment worth
They had been unloaded from the trailer to await onward
transportation to Holland when the gang struck.
Prosecutor Christopher May said at a trial involving an alleged
fourth member - who was later acquitted - that such was security at
the depot that the men were able to simply drive into the yard and
load up their stolen Fiat Ducato van with the pallets.
The men fled and abandoned their van within minutes, switching
to a Vauxhall Vectra owned by Schwartz.
However, they were being watched by surveillance officers from
the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate and were arrested on
the A30 in Surrey.
A car key found on the back seat of the Vectra was later used by
officers to unlock the abandoned Ducato. Inside were boxes of
computer chips worth £1.9million.
Computer chips worth
almost £2million were recovered by police
Gowers was today jailed for five years and three months, while
Tyrell and Schwartz were each jailed for three years and nine
months by Recorder Simon Taylor QC.
It had been alleged that Gowers had "recruited" his son Joshua
to act as a getaway driver.
However, the 22-year-old of Steerforth Close, Rochester, denied
any involvement and was cleared by a jury following a trial last
The prosecutor told the jury the theft had involved "a lot of
thought and work". He added: "It wasn't something that happened on
the spur of the moment and off the cuff.
"A lot of people had involved a lot of time in this and were
doing their best to get away with it. Each and every member of the
team had their part to play."
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