A thief used a stolen VW van to commit a crime

A THIEF who used a stolen van in a break-in at a school bike shed has been locked up and the badly painted vehicle spotted outside his home.

Christopher Currie bought the stolen VW Transporter van for £500 before he and an accomplice went on a theft spree by stealing four bicycles and a motorbike.

Teesside Crown Court heard how within two days of the van being stolen it had been given an ‘amateur’ paint job using gloss black paint.

Currie and his accomplice used the stolen van to steal four bicycles from a school shed while young people were on the scene.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said the accused was captured by CCTV driving in the Stockton area before being arrested on April 26 last year.

He said: ‘The van was recorded on CCTV entering the grounds of Bishopsgarth School in Stockton before four bikes were stolen. On the same day, it was reported that two men removed a motorbike and put it in a van. »

Mr Dryden said: ‘Later the same day a police officer noticed the van parked outside a house, it had no front number plate, it had been hand painted in gloss black paint and in the back garden of the house was a Honda Moto CBX.

The court heard that a pedal bike recovered from the property was one of those stolen from the school.

Christopher Currie

Currie, of Eastcroft Road, Middlesbrough, admitted two charges of receiving stolen property and one charge of theft for the four bikes.

Kelly Sherif, in mitigation, said the 34-year-old worked full-time as a builder and was no longer associated with his co-defendant.

She said: “He is so sorry for this crime, he tells me he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was misled.”

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Currie for a total of two years when he appeared for his sentence.

Addressing the handling of the stolen VW van, the judge said: ‘You have practically deprived him of his livelihood by what you have done. It had only been stolen two days ago in a burglary and when it was found in your possession it was a different color.

“You frankly admit that you knew it was stolen when you took it. The fact is that if people did not voluntarily buy stolen goods, they would not provide a market for thieves and they might not be not be so encouraged to fly.

The judge heard how Currie brought £500 cash to court to pay compensation for his victims.

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