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Car crime dad gets six years in jail
THEY brought misery to dozens of motorists, plundering their vehicles left parked at beauty spots, recreation grounds and even cemeteries.
Father and son Frederick and Daniel King went on a ten-month spree breaking into cars after watching and waiting for their victims to leave, a court heard.
They got away with around £3,500 in cash and valuables, including bank cards which they used within minutes to make withdrawals from cash machines.
Police had to launch a special investigation before the Southampton pair were finally caught. Other accomplices remain at large.
Prosecutor Mary Aspinall-Miles said: “This was a planned, well executed operation. They were not opportunistic thefts carried out by these two men and others unknown.”
She told Southampton Crown Court how car owners would leave their cars unattended in secluded locations and on their return found wallets, mobile phones, cameras and handbags had been stolen.
Among their victims was a family who had parked near a cemetery in Ringwood to lay flowers on a grave. Another woman was targeted twice in a week.
The police breakthrough came after an attempted withdrawal from a cash machine in Pennington, minutes after a theft in the New Forest.
They followed a Ford Mondeo seen leaving the scene from car park to car park, eventually seeing it go to Denmead Golf Course and after one vehicle had been targeted, they pounced on Frederick King, 44, and Daniel, 21.
The pair appeared side by side in the dock but went their separate ways at the end of a two-hour hearing – the father was jailed for six years and his son received a 12-month suspended sentence coupled with 200 hours unpaid work and a three-month curfew.
“You are an incorrigible criminal,” judge Gary Burrell told King senior. “A significant aggravating factor is that you involved your son, a man with limited intelligence – an appalling thing to do.”
Both men, from Croydon Close, Lordshill , Southampton, pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal between January and October last year.
King received four years for that offence and a consecutive term of two years after admitting one count each of obtaining a money transfer by deception and fraud to obtain mortgages on a property in Portsmouth.
The court heard the father-of-five invented a salary to obtain the advances when he was living on social security. However the lenders had not lost any money from the scam.
In mitigation for the father, Audrey Archer said he was a cocaine addict and involving his son was something that would live with him forever as a result of “his stupidity and negligence as a parent”.
King junior pleaded guilty on the basis he had been unaware most of the thefts had taken place but on three occasions he accepted he had used stolen cards at cash machines after being told what code to use and how much to withdraw. He claimed he was financially dependent on his parents and would have helped his father without question.
Louisa Bagley, defending, added: “He is vulnerable and easily influenced.”
After the case, Det Con Darren Hooper, officer in the case, said: “My message to the public is not to leave valuables inside and please do not keep your PIN number in your wallet, handbags or stored on your mobile phone.”