A man who was part of a conspiracy to steal transit vans across Cheshire and Liverpool has been jailed.
Lee Bird, from Manchester, committed the offences between 12 December 2019 and 13 July 2020.
The 31-year-old was involved in stealing two vans in Ellesmere Port, two in Warrington, one in Knutsford and another in Liverpool.
The vans were either stolen from the owner’s driveway or from outside their homes between the hours of 9.30pm to 11.30pm.
The total cost of the vans, including the tools and equipment inside, was estimated to be worth almost £50,000.
During the investigation Bird was identified following CCTV analysis of an Audi A3 which was seen in the area during the times most of the offences occurred.
Bird was interviewed on 26 August 2020 and subsequently charged.
On Tuesday 16 February at Chester Crown Court Bird was sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal motor vehicles at an earlier hearing.
Detective Constable Stuart Wood, from Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “The victims all worked in the building trade and were dependant on their vans and tools for their livelihoods.
“Some of the tools and equipment were handed down from previous generations and held a sentimental value which can never be replaced. Unfortunately we have only been able to recover one of the six vans after it was found abandoned a few days later.
“I also want to take this opportunity to encourage people to consider taking steps to improve their vehicle security by removing all valuable tools and equipment from inside in order to protect them and prevent criminals from stealing their possessions.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “This must have been upsetting for those who have had their work vehicle and tools stolen from them, which were of sentimental value but also part of their livelihood.
“Crimes like this can have a detrimental impact on victims and the wider community. I know officers work hard to investigate the crimes, and as we have seen in this case, bring them to justice.”