A SERIAL thief who made hundreds of thousands of pounds from his life of crime in Hampshire has been stripped of all his assets.

Fredrick King has been ordered to pay back more than £45,000 he made from his crimes following a spree of thefts from vehicles in the New Forest.

A confiscation hearing at Southampton Crown Court heard that the 45-year-old, of Flowerdown Close, Calmore, made almost £233,000 from the catalogue of thefts he carried out with his son Daniel.

The order to pay back £45,000 will strip him of all the assets he holds and compensation will be awarded to a number of his victims.

Should he fail to pay the order within six months he could face a further 16 months in prison.

King and his son 23-year-old son Daniel King, from Croydon Close, Calmore, were convicted in June last year of conspiracy to steal from motor vehicles following a number of thefts from vehicles mainly parked in the New Forest area.

Fredrick King was also convicted of mortgage fraud and was sentenced to four years for the conspiracy and two years for the fraud and his son received 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

Detective Chief Inspector Justin Norris said: “It is fair to say that theft from motor vehicles in the New Forest reduced by a significant amount when Fredrick King and his son were arrested and we welcome this confiscation of some of the assets he bought with the money he made from his crimes.

“Despite the drop in thefts from vehicles it does still occur too often. Most of the thefts in this investigation happened because members of the public were seen to put valuables such as purses or bags in their cars before leaving the car unattended and going for walks or bike rides.

“Nothing should interrupt the peaceful enjoyment of all who wish to park their cars and take fresh air but it is a sad fact that there are people who look to exploit those who leave themselves vulnerable to such criminal conduct.

“We’d urge all users of the car parks of the New Forest and other beauty spots around the county to be mindful of the possibility of crime of this nature and either keep their valuables with them, or leave them at home in a secure place.”