Last man in family conspiracy to systematically steal tools from trade vans in Northamptonshire jailed
Another member of a family of thieves who stoles more than £86,000 worth of tools and goods from tradespeople in Northamptonshire has been jailed.
James Devlin, aged 49, was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on September 27 for a campaign of thefts that took place across south Northamptonshire between October 1, 2017, and February 18, 2018.
He is the last member of a family of thieves who ran a 'sophisticated' criminal operation to target vehicles, shops and petrol stations to steal goods - and in particular, focused on working men's trade tools that tradespeople rely on to make their living.
It comes after how, in early September, brothers Noel and Jimmy Devlin, as well as Hughie Devlin, of Dun Roamin Park near Whitfield, were sentenced for their part in the crime spree. A 16-year-old boy was also seen in court.
The group of five were arrested and charged with conspiracy to steal after police raided the Dun Roamin caravan park near Brackley on February 19, 2018.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Leanne Lee, of Northampton CID, said: “These crimes were numerous and caused tremendous hardship to the victims, as they not only prevented victims from working due to the loss of their tools, but also meant that their working vehicles were off the road until the damage caused had been repaired.”
Devlin, of Dunroamin Park, Whitfield, was the fifth person to be sentenced as part of the Northamptonshire Police investigation into the theft conspiracy, which saw officers look at more than 160 offences, including thefts from vehicles, shops, and petrol stations.
In August, three other family members and a 16-year-old boy were sentenced for their part in the conspiracy, pleading guilty on what would have been the first day of their trial.
Noel Devlin, aged 27, of Dunroamin Park, Whitfield, was given 12 months’ imprisonment, and Jimmy Devlin, aged 18, of Dunroamin Park, Whitfield, was given 18 months’ detention and a training order.
Hughie Devlin, aged 25, of Staples Road, Bristol, was given 18 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete a thinking skills workshop and 120 hours’ unpaid work.
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a youth rehabilitation order with two years supervision, six months on a tagged night time curfew and 120 hours of unpaid work.
DC Lee continued: “I am pleased that the courts have seen their offences as sufficiently serious to issue custodial sentences and I hope that the police action, along with the court’s sentencing, offers confidence to the public that these matters are taken extremely seriously.
“My colleagues and I have put in a lot of effort to ensure that those responsible for these crimes were charged and that the evidence presented was of such credibility they had no option but to plead guilty.”