Gang of motorbike thieves who targeted bikes in Wansford locked up for more than 20 years

Top (l-r) Grant Smith and Dominic Watts. Bottom (l-r): Jay Buckland, Andrew Linnell and Michael Cooper,
Top (l-r) Grant Smith and Dominic Watts. Bottom (l-r): Jay Buckland, Andrew Linnell and Michael Cooper,

Five men who plotted to steal valuable motorbikes across the country - including in Wansford - have been jailed.

Grant Smith, Michael Cooper, Jay Buckland, Andrew Linnell and Dominic Watts committed the offences in Wansford, Abingdon in Oxfordshire and Swindon in Wiltshire in April last year.

The gang, who are all from Northamptonshire, targeted bikes worth £190,000 in their spree - but have now been jailed for a combined total of more than 20 years.

Detective Sergeant Ryan Catling, who led the investigation, said: “Northamptonshire Police is committed to robustly pursuing organised criminality and we welcome the sentence handed down in this case, and hope it demonstrates the seriousness with which the police and courts take this type of crime.

“The offenders, who all lived in the Kettering area of Northamptonshire, conspired together to commit several burglaries in different counties, specifically targeting high end, expensive motorbikes, to the value of nearly £190,000.

“It was a complex investigation and our detectives worked closely with officers from a number of police forces. Through this, we were able to gather intelligence and use other proactive tactics to establish evidence of conspiracy, which culminated in their arrest, charge and ultimate conviction.”

Detective Inspector Wayne Preece added: “Northamptonshire Police took the lead in this investigation because the suspects were identified as living in the county and because of the potential harm we believed they could do to businesses and the local community within Northamptonshire.

“These offenders were audacious in their crimes and thought they could get away with it. However, following a thorough and detailed investigation, and close liaison with colleagues in other forces, we were able to quickly arrest and charge those involved and bring them to justice.”

Smith, aged 32, of Whitford Drive, Kettering, was sentenced to three years and three months.

Cooper, aged 33, of Yarwell Court, Kettering, was sentenced to four years and 10 months.

Buckland, aged 29, of Woodland Drive, Burton Latimer, was sentenced to five years and three months.

Linnell, aged 33, of Pennine Way, Kettering, was sentenced to four years and one month.

Watts, aged 23, of Whitford Drive, Kettering, was sentenced to three years and two months.

They were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court after they all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.