Man jailed for his part in vehicle theft

A MAN who specialises in swapping number plates on stolen cars has been jailed after admitting to assisting a gang of thieves.

James Evans, 27, of West Street, Wellingborough, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle when he appeared at Northampton Crown Court last Friday.

It followed a criminal operation which saw a home in Blandford Avenue, Kettering, burgled, while the owners were in bed, for car keys to an Audi and a Ford car in the driveway.

The vehicles were driven off, but only one was discovered by police following a chase through Corby on the same night on December 29. The vehicle’s number plates had been ringed, meaning they had been swapped with another car’s.

Forensic officers traced Evans using DNA on a hooded top left in the abandoned vehicle. Evans denied being involved in the theft, but said the offenders had come to him for help to ring the number plates.

Judge Richard Bray, who described him as a specialist in the method, jailed him for three-and-a-half years.