£110,000 DIY raids gang to be sentenced

Daily Echo: £110,000 DIY raids gang to be sentenced £110,000 DIY raids gang to be sentenced

A GANG of 12 from Hampshire will be sentenced today for their role in a conspiracy that saw £110,000 worth of items stolen from DIY stores and sold online.

George Mason was the mastermind behind the ten-month plot which saw B&Q and Homebase stores targeted by small teams. They would fill trolleys with goods and stash them in the garden centre of the stores where they could be later picked up by making holes in fencing or twisting razor wire.

On one occasion Mason and his accomplice even created what the prosecution called “the sport of shower launching”, where showers were thrown over the outside wall of the store.

Today the gang will be sentenced at Southampton Crown Court for their various roles in the conspiracy to steal and sell bathroom fixtures and fittings and Karchers products such as pressure washers before selling them online through eBay.

Prosecutor Andy Houston told the court yesterday that Mason, 31, of Meggeson Avenue, was the “player-manager” of the team, which included his sister and mother, and would select himself and one or two others to travel to the stores.

Between December 2011 and October 2012 the value of the stolen items was £107,479 but the prosecution say this is an “underestimate” and that the total figure is more likely to be around £110,00.

The court heard that most items stolen were sold via eBay stores which were the focus of the money laundering limb of the operation.

THE GANG:

Mason was found guilty of conspiracy to steal bathroom fixtures and fittings and Karchers products and after that trial he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property and stealing six Henry and Hetty vacuum cleaners.

Jeremy French, 39, of Burgess Road, Swathyling, was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Michelle Moore, 46, of Violet Road, Swaythling, was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products and possession of stolen Henry and Hetty Hoovers.

Mark Bowers, 45, of Minstead Avenue, Southampton, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal bathroom products.

Mason’s mum Caroline Kirkland, 55, of Violet Road, Swaythling, was found guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Amy Daniels, 20, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, was found guilty of conspiracy to covert criminal property relating to the Karcher products.

Mason’ older sister, Yvonne Banagham, 35, of Victoria Road, Woolston, was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Ryan Vaughan, 26, of The Nook, Eastleigh, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal the bathroom and Karchers products but was found guilty of conspiracy to sell the bathroom products.

Kevin Owen, 35, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal bathroom and Karcher products and conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the Karchers products.

Lindsey Daish, 20, of Bursledon Road, Southampton, was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property relating to the bathroom products.

Shelley Emm, 28, of Itchen View, Mansbridge, and Darren Mintram, 34, of Itchen View, Southampton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal bathroom and Karcher products.

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