Jailed: Thieves who stole £300k worth of ‘high end’ cars

Three men have been jailed after a string of 'high end' car thefts in east London. Picture: MPS

Three men have been jailed after a string of 'high end' car thefts in east London. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

Three members of a criminal gang who went on a £300,000 ‘high end’ car stealing rampage have each been jailed for three years.

Astin Cockley, 20, John Philpott, 19, and Kyron Roberts, 21, carried out 16 offences in east London.

Astin Cockley, 20, John Philpott, 19, and Kyron Roberts, 21, carried out 16 offences in east London. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

Astin Cockley, of Lonsdale Close, East Ham, Kyron Roberts, of Rush Green Road, Rush Green, and John Philpott, of Sibley Grove, East Ham, committed 16 offences between April and October 2019.

PC Grace Turner said: "These men went on a rampage of stealing and attempting to steal high value vehicles.

"They drove dangerously. They violently rammed the stolen vehicles into police cars in a bid to escape arrest, showing little regard for the safety of officers."

The three conspired to steal high-value 4x4s including Range Rover Evoques to sell on or use for more thefts.

Cockley was sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institute for conspiracy to steal, two co

Cockley was sentenced to three years in a young offenders institute for conspiracy to steal, two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of driving without a licence and two counts of driving without insurance. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

To cover their tracks, Cockley, 20, Roberts, 21, and 19-year old Philpott would change the number plates before selling them.

Over time their methods became more sophisticated as they moved from smashing car windows to using electronic car keys.

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The trio was first arrested on August 2 last year after police received reports of an Audi driving erratically in Barking.

Officers tried stopping them, but the gang reversed into their car before racing off.

Philpott was sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institute for conspiracy to steal, drivi

Philpott was sentenced to three years in a young offenders institute for conspiracy to steal, driving without licence and driving without insurance. He was also disqualified from driving for two years. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

Police later found the Audi crashed into a wall. Cockley was arrested leaving the scene while Roberts and Philpott were found a few hours afterwards.

They were released on bail before being arrested again on September 4 after an Audi SQ5 failed to stop for police in East Ham.

It sped off at 80mph along Wilson Road but was blocked by a bus at the junction with Benson Avenue.

They shunted into police, before tearing off. The Audi was later found crashed into a wall outside Proton Tower in Blackwall Way.

Roberts was jailed for two years and nine months for conspiracy to steal. Picture: MPS

Roberts was jailed for two years and nine months for conspiracy to steal. Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

Cockley was re-arrested leaving the scene while Roberts and Philpott were found soon after.

Warrants were executed at the homes of all three men, where they were re-arrested again on November 4, 2019. Items recovered included clothes seen on CCTV of some of the offences.

In total 14 cars were stolen during their heists with two taken in a burglary involving machetes and CS gas.

The Crown Prosecution Service's Paul Jenkins said: "They told officers there would be no proof of their guilt. However, the array of evidence shown to them meant they quickly pleaded guilty."

They were jailed today (January 17) after previously pleading guilty at Wood Green Crown Court.

Cockley was sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institute for conspiracy to steal; two counts of dangerous driving; two counts of driving without a licence and two counts of driving without insurance. He was also banned from driving for two years.

Philpott was sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institute for conspiracy to steal; driving without licence and driving without insurance. He was banned from driving for two years.

Roberts was jailed for two years and nine months for conspiracy to steal.

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