Published: 12:16, 15 September 2020
A pair have been jailed after a spate of brazen thefts, stealing a climbing wall and vehicles, in west Kent and Sittingbourne.
Working together and also separately, Darren Mills and William Adams stole £100,000 worth of property.
The pair conspired to steal vehicles, trailers and plant machinery between 1 December 2019 and 18 February.
Together they stole three vans, two Land Rovers, a trailer, a climbing wall, a high pressure jet washer and attempted to steal a further trailer from locations including Sittingbourne, Maidstone, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Paddock Wood.
Separately, between 3 February and 11 February, Adams, 21, also stole a Land Rover, a caravan, a trailer and attempted to steal two further Land Rovers and a digger on a trailer from Paddock Wood, Kemsley, Marden, Sittingbourne and Burwash in Sussex.
Mills, 31, of Rectory Road Sittingbourne, was alone when he also stole a van from Sittingbourne on December 2.
The pair used cars with false number plates to travel to the scene of their crimes and in some cases towing away trailers when their owners were distracted.
They discussed getting rid of the property via text and in some cases sent photographs of the stolen items to prospective buyers.
Both were arrested in February and officers recovered texts and photos of some of the stolen property.
They were charged with conspiracy to commit theft and pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Monday. Mills was jailed for four years and one month and Adams, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years and nine months.
'Arrogance was their downfall...'
Det Ch Insp Lopa McDermott, of the chief constable’s crime squad said: "These two criminals brazenly committed their crimes when the owners were distracted or drivers were making deliveries.
"They ran their offending as a business, discussing which items to steal and advertising the stolen property by sending photographs to potential buyers.
"Their arrogance was their downfall when investigators checked their mobile phones and found incriminating text conversations and the images.
"The impact on the victims should not be underestimated and in some cases businesses ceased trading due to the financial loss. It is only right that Mills and Adams are now in prison.2