Raid on lorry parked off M1 bore hallmarks of organised crime

A £13,000 raid on a lorry parked up at a service station off the M1 bore all the hallmarks of organised criminality, a court heard.

Nottingham Crown Court was told the theft was plainly planned and there was an element of sophistication to it.

The lorry used by the gang to steal packages on February 26 had false registration plates, no registered keeper and, on the face of it, DVLA documents showed it had a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

An XPO Logistics driver had been to Derby the previous day but was sent away to come back in the morning and found the nearest lorry park to stay the night and sleep.

He felt his tractor unit rocking at 4.30am and found a large number of men passing boxes to each other and into a waiting lorry and tractor unit which “was no doubt driven down from the south Yorkshire area that day for this purpose”, said Andy Peet, prosecuting.

Just short of £13,000 worth of brand new Tefal products were taken from a trailer attached to a tractor unit parked up at Trowell Services. Tefal is a French cookware and small appliance manufacturer.

The driver took down the registration number, police were notified and picked up the lorry driving north on the M1 and pursued it for a number of junctions to just short of Junction 36, the Rotherham turn off.

At first, the vehicle failed to stop but was boxed in by police cars. One of the cars in front of the lorry was rammed several times.

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“Eventually the boxing in tactics worked and the lorry came to a halt on the hard shoulder,” said Mr Peet on Thursday, August 12.

Four people were in the back of the cab and it was impossible to say which one of the four had been driving – so no one faced any charge in relation to the driving episode.

One of those who was caught appeared before Judge Steven Coupland to be sentenced for his role in the theft.

Elliot O’Rielly, 19, of Parkfield Grove, Cross Flatts, Leeds, pleaded guilty to theft and received 14 months in youth custody. The judge activated a suspended sentence of 12 weeks consecutively for driving whilst disqualified. He will serve half the sentence and the remainder on licence with supervision for a further year.

Judge Coupland told him the goods were recovered “but that is only down to the efforts of the driver and police, and there was a significant amount of inconvenience caused by what you did”.

“You took part in organised criminal activity”, he added.

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Nottinghamshire Live – Local News