High-value new builds burglary conspiracy foiled by North Yorkshire Police
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Two South Yorkshire men have been jailed for a high-value burglary conspiracy which targeted boilers, furniture and building equipment from housing developments in the Harrogate District of North Yorkshire.
Shaun Andrew Finley, 34, of Goldthorpe, Barnsley, and Stephen William Case, 43, of Dunscroft, Doncaster, were sentenced at York Crown Court on Friday (16 June 2023).
Above...Shaun Andrew Finley
Below...Stephen William Case
Finley was sent to prison for five years and Case for four years and two months.
Between 1 June and 15 December 2020, they targeted prestigious new build
developments 22 times where they removed newly installed boilers, furniture and equipment belonging to the various building companies and contractors.
These included those in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Killinghall, Kirk Hammerton and Dishforth.
The burglary conspiracy amounted to more than £143,000.
In response to the series of crimes, North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Expedite team carried out extensive enquiries which, ultimately, implicated Finley and Case in the offences.
They were able to identify a pattern in the burglaries which involved the same method of breaking into the properties and the removal of boilers and other items.
They specifically targeted houses that were ready for occupation. This caused considerable disruption and upset to the homebuyers and added cost and inconvenience to the developers.
Through detailed analysis of CCTV and ANPR (automatic number plater recognition) data, the investigation team were able to place the vans and cars they were using – often driving in convoy – in and around the new build locations that they burgled.
They also uncovered that Finley and Case were actively avoiding detection by registering, and insuring, their vehicles in the names of innocent members of the public. They also used cloned registration plates. This resulted in the arrest of two men who had nothing to do with the crimes, as well as numerous speeding tickets.
At the sentencing, Judge Sean Morris commended the work of Detective Sergeant Steve Peachman, the now retired Detective Sergeant Marcus Dawson, and Analyst Libby Edison for the effective investigation which secured the convictions.
The Judge said they are “a credit to North Yorkshire Police and the people of North Yorkshire”.
DS Steve Peachman, from Operation Expedite, said:
“The outcome of our investigation shows that if you choose to embark on conspiracies with organised crime groups, you can expect lengthy custodial sentences.
“We proved that Finley and Case were principal participants in committing crime in North Yorkshire.
“They used a high degree of sophistication, but it was not enough to escape justice.
“North Yorkshire Police will continue to pursue and seek prosecutions against those involved in organised crime.”