A roving gang of thieves have been jailed for a combined 48 months after stealing a man’s £6,500 quad bike, then trying to snatch his car keys as he went to confront them.
The victim was enjoying a pint with friends in his local pub when he got a call to say his bike had been stolen from outside his house and was being rolled down the street in Fylingthorpe.
He got in his car and drove through the village where he saw the three men pushing the quad along the road, said prosecutor Matthew Collins.
The victim stopped his car and went to confront them, but the brazen thieves told him: “We’re taking your quad bike and we’ll take your (car) as well.”
They then turned aggressive, “physically and verbally abusing” him, before trying to snatch the car keys from the ignition. However, the fob snapped and the gang fled with the quad.
Neighbours called police who went looking for the three men and caught them red-handed in the Mitsubishi nearby. The car had no front number plate which had been “disguised”. The quad bike was recovered.
The thieves, who had travelled from Redcar, were arrested and each charged with theft. They initially protested their innocence, but all ultimately admitted the offences.
Mr Collins said the named victim suffered bruising to his body after being roughed up by the men. He felt “very intimidated and extremely shaken”, and now didn’t feel safe in his own home. The thieves also caused damage to his car.
Paul McElvaney, 40, of Mardale Walk, Redcar, Carl Wilde, 27, of Lincoln Road, Redcar, and Dale Bennett, 32, of Watson Road, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, appeared for sentence on Thursday.
The court heard the men had driven from Teesside to the tiny rural village in a Mitsubishi driven by Bennett on the night of January 26 last year.
All three men had a long criminal history. Bennett had 57 previous offences on his rap sheet, the vast majority for theft.
McElvaney had 144 previous offences to his name, including aggravated vehicle-taking, burglary, handling stolen goods, shoplifting, fraud and possessing heroin. He had committed more thefts since the quad-bike incident.
Wilde had 24 convictions for 55 offences, including criminal damage, assault, drug-dealing, attempted robbery, possessing weapons and perverting the course of justice. The quad theft put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence for serious driving matters.
Solicitor advocate Alex Bousfield, for McElvaney, said his client had a drug problem.
Dan Cordey, for Wilde, said his client was on drugs at the time of the incident but had since kicked the habit.
Martin Bosomworth, for Bennett, said his client - who had had moved to Teesside shortly before the incident and befriended one of the thieves - was not involved in the physical confrontation with the victim.
Judge Simon Hickey said the thieves’ premeditated actions had clearly had a traumatic on the victim.
He jailed Bennett for 16 months. McElvaney was jailed for 17 months. Wilde was given a 15-month prison term.