Three face jail for lorry cargo thefts around M25

Southend Standard: Three face jail for lorry cargo thefts Three face jail for lorry cargo thefts

THREE men are facing jail over an organised plot to steal from lorries.

Tommy Clampin, of Dock Road, Grays, and Dave Steingold, of East Street, South Stifford, were found guilty of cutting open lorries parked around the M25 to steal perfume, trainers and cigarette papers.

A third man, Richard Chapman, of Copper Beech Road, South Ockendon, admitted theft at an earlier hearing.

The gang’s operation was run from a site at Bretts Farm, Grays. The jury heard police uncovered the scheme and began Operation Bohemien.

Officers using night-vision cameras followed an Iveco lorry, that used the Grays base, over a number of months.

Automatic number plate recognition was also used by officers and the lorry was followed to various places around the M25.

The jury at the eight-week trial were shown footage of men checking parked lorries.

Vehicles with vinyl or plastic sides were slashed open so the thieves could see the cargo.

If it could be easily sold, loads or part loads were transferred on to the gang’s lorry, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

The lorry used by the men was followed on various nights to lorry parks at Toddington services, Clackett Lane, South Mimms, Dartford, and other sites within reach of the M25.

Three other men, Steven Cochrane, of Carlisle Way, Pitsea, Grant Leeks, of Sudbury Road, Billericay, and Dean Leeks, of Cavendish Gardens, Aveley, were cleared by the jury.

Cochrane, 40, Grant Leeks, 40, and Dean Leeks, 36, were formally discharged by the court following the unanimous verdicts.

Clampin, 38, Steingold, 39, and Chapman, 37, will be sentenced next week.

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