Five men, including two from Rugby, who were involved in the theft and ringing of powerful motorbikes from addresses across Warwickshire have all been jailed.
Warwick Crown Court heard that as part of a conspiracy machines were stolen from Rugby, Leamington, Barford, Harbury, Nuneaton, Bulkington and Coventry.
Christopher Cunningham, Scott Leonard, Jordan Marshall and Jonathan Callan all pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to a charge of conspiracy to steal, while Saul Linton admitted a single offence of attempted theft.
Cunningham, 26, of Marlborough Road, Rugby, who was described by the judge as the ‘organising force,’ was jailed for 29 months.
Scott Leonard, 25, of Hawthorn Close, Alcester, and Jonathan Callan, 35, of Griffiths House, Dovedale Close, Rugby, were both jailed for 28 months.
Marshall, 19, of Beech Grove, Warwick, was sentenced to 18 months detention, and Linton, 21, of Kenilworth Road, Leamington, was jailed for six months consecutive to a 30-month sentence he is already serving.
The court heard that between March and June 2012, although they were not each involved in every theft, a total of 11 motorcycles worth in excess of £36,000 were stolen.
The conspiracy was centred around a garage used by Leonard at the rear of Chandos Street in Nuneaton where the stolen machines were stripped for parts or ‘ringed’ before being offered for sale to unsuspecting buyers.
The first bike stolen during the conspiracy was a Honda which was taken from outside the owner’s home in New Brook Street, Leamington, on 25 March 2012.
A month later a Yamaha R6 was stolen from outside Otterbrook Court, Radford, Coventry.
To help with the thefts, the gang then began using a Warwickshire County Council LDV van which was stolen from the council’s depot in Montague Road, Warwick, at the end of May.
It was used in an attempt to steal a Triumph from the owner’s back garden in Lawford Road, Rugby.
Fortunately his wife was disturbed late at night by the gate being forced open, and called the police.
The conspirators, who had been joined by Linton, sped off in the council van when they realised they had been spotted after pushing the Triumph to nearby Parnell Close.
But, in what Judge Alan Parker said displayed their ‘arrogance,’ they returned later to pick it up – only to abandon the bike and the van and flee on foot after being seen by the police.
On June 5 a woman biker’s ‘pride and joy’ Honda Fireblade was stolen overnight from outside her home in Gillett Close, Nuneaton.
But she recognised parts of it when, after being ringed with the frame and registration of a written-off machine, she saw it advertised for sale six months later.
Another Fireblade was stolen the following day from outside a house in Constance Drive, Harbury, near Leamington, and the owner was so deeply affected that he has given up the pleasure of motorcycling as a result.
The next night, clearly knowing what they would find, members of the gang broke into the garage of a house in Norton Leys, Rugby, and stole a £7,000 Honda CBR 600 as well as the owner’s golf clubs and other property.
Three nights later a determined effort was made to break into a garage in Lilac Drive, Rugby, to get the owner’s 1000cc Aprilia Mille machine – but triggered her burglar alarm.
A Triumph Daytona was then stolen from the drive of a house in Spa Lane, Hinckley; and the same night a Suzuki 600 was taken from outside a house in Tachbrook Road, Leamington.
Then a few days later the garage of a house in Brendan Way, Nuneaton, was broken into and two quad bikes taken using a van parked nearby.
Jailing the men, Judge Parker commented: “This was a sophisticated and determined conspiracy.”
And he told Cunningham: “It is clear you, together with Mr Leonard, were the ringleaders; and I am satisfied you were the organising force behind this.
“You brought your criminal experience to this organisation, and you were in effect its head.”