A BURGLAR who stole quad bikes valued at £11,500 from isolated farm buildings has been jailed.
Joshua Aaron Faley, 23, travelled from his home in South Yorkshire with an unidentified male, the pair then breaking into two outbuildings in the Tebay area in darkness on February 9 last year.
Police were already targeting rural criminals that night, and caught Faley after a member of the public reported suspicious activity. A Transit van was found which contained a screwdriver, knife and a ramp allowing small vehicles to be wheeled into the back.
Unemployed Faley, of Manorfield Close, Rotherham, claimed he travelled more than 100 miles merely to go “ratting” with a dog. But phone analysis showed he received a text the night before which asked: “You want to go for a quad tonight?”
Three quad bikes were reported stolen but all were recovered.
Faley admitted two burglary charges and was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court today (WED) for 16 months.
Mr Justice William Davis learned 51 quad bikes had been stolen in Cumbria during the past two years, and that travelling criminals who targeted farm equipment and livestock were “extremely prevalent”. And he told Faley: “It is perfectly obvious that this was a completely dishonest trip from start to finish. Doubtless people like you have come to think of Cumbria as an easy target.”
After the case, PC John Spriggs, of Cumbria police, said: “We are working with local agencies, neighbouring forces and using all means necessary to target rural crime, much of which is committed by organised crime groups from outside the area.
“We would ask residents to contact us about any vehicle that doesn’t belong in the area or anybody they see acting suspiciously. We take all calls seriously.”
Speaking afterwards, Detective Constable Lauren Carruthers welcomed the sentence: “Cumbria’s isolated and rural communities can fall victim to theft and burglaries carried out by criminals travelling from outside the county.
“Cumbria Constabulary takes this type of crime extremely seriously.
“Officers and staff have been running a number of multi-agency operations to target this type of offending.
“We certainly are not an easy target.
“This type of sentence shows burglars who think they are coming for an easy day out in Cumbria they face a lengthy spell in jail.”