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two jailed after bikes stolen to order

Two men have been sentenced to a total of eight years in prison for their involvement in a conspiracy that saw motorcycles stolen to order and shipped to the Caribbean.

At the Old Bailey on Friday (22 July) Ellis Thomas, 33, of Charnwood Gardens, Isle of Dogs (pictured left), was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy, one of which covered June 2012 to October 2015. He was sentenced for six years and four years for each respective count, to be served concurrently.

Mario White 47, of Severn Way, Harlesden, was jailed for two years, having previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to handle stolen goods and one count of possession of a taser.

Thomas was arrested at his home on 2 October last year, and 12 stolen motorcycles were seized by police.

Officers had recovered two new BMW S1000RR sportsbikes at Portsmouth Docks, due to be shipped to Trinidad, which had earlier been stolen in a commercial burglary in Essex.

More than £100,000 worth of stolen vehicles have been attributed to Thomas’ criminal enterprise, with 50 vehicles detailed in evidence during the trial, many of which remain unidentified and unrecovered.

The court heard how Thomas operated a fixed-price structure for stolen motorcycles, based on the age and cubic capacity of the vehicles offered.

He was in regular communication with thieves and couriers, who would provide information on which stolen bikes were “available” at any one time.

The court heard evidence that showed Thomas, the former director of ECU Master and current owner of Crazy Custom Quads, who primarily conducted his criminality from Baldwin’s Farm, Essex, had the capability to have vehicles stolen to “order”.

City of London Police began investigating Thomas and his operations after witnessing an increasing trend of motorcycle thefts across the city in 2014.

City of London Police Detective Constable Steve Weller said: “Ellis Thomas was at the heart of an organised criminal group that was responsible for the theft and handling of motorcycles, primarily superbikes.

“Thomas acted as a middleman between the thieves and any prospective buyers, becoming a pivotal node within the regional motorcycle crime network. He used his expertise in re-programming the ECU to mobilise vehicles stolen without their keys.

“Thomas was able to offer stolen motorbikes for export or resale, at a substantial undervalue, by defeating the security measures put in place by the manufacturers to mitigate this illegal trade.

“Thomas’ imprisonment removes his expertise from circulation, frustrating those who seek to reprogramme ECUs for unlawful reasons. The reduction of mobilised stolen vehicles in the market-place will inhibit further motorcycle and moped-borne criminality.

“Mario White was a criminal associate, who acted as an intermediary between Thomas and the international exportation of vehicles, primarily to Trinidad and Tobago.”




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