A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to steal vehicles.

Lee Bird, from Manchester, was involved in stealing two vans in Ellesmere Port, two in Warrington, one in Knutsford and another in Liverpool.

The vans were stolen from outside the owner’s homes between 12 December 2019 and 13 July 2020.

The total cost of the vehicles, including the contents inside, was estimated to be worth almost £50,000.

Lee Bird was sentenced on Tuesday 16 February at Chester Crown Court after being identified on CCTV footage.

Detective Constable Stuart Wood, from Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit, said: “The victims all worked in the building trade and were dependent on their vans and tools for their livelihoods.

“Some of the tools and equipment were handed down from previous generations and held a sentimental value which can never be replaced. Unfortunately we have only been able to recover one of the six vans after it was found abandoned a few days later.”

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Crimes like this can have a detrimental impact on victims and the wider community. I know officers work hard to investigate the crimes, and as we have seen in this case, bring them to justice.”

Picture: Jeff Buck

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