Two men who stole cars from outside houses in Folkestone and Romney Marsh have been jailed for a total of eight years after officers uncovered mobile phone footage of them in the stolen vehicles.
Harrison Walker and Jayden Jones-McGilvray were among three men who stole nine vehicles in the area in September 2020, before being traced to a holiday park and arrested by Kent Police.
After guilty pleas at earlier hearings, Jones-McGilvray, formerly of an address in Richmond, Surrey, was jailed for three years and 10 months for conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to steal.
Walker, from Wimbledon, south London, was jailed for four years and two months for the same charges, as well as additional charges of handling stolen goods and driving offences committed in January 2021.
An investigation by Kent Police’s Chief Constable’s Crime Squad linked Walker, Jones-McGilvray and another man, George Paton, to a series of burglaries in the same area:
• A Peugeot van and BMW were taken after a house in Harbour Way, Folkestone was burgled overnight on 8 September 2020, with a Mini stolen from Althelstan Road in a similar fashion the following night.
• On the night of 10 September, a home owner disturbed intruders at a property in Hythe, before a Daihatsu was stolen following a separate break-in in Thanet Gardens, Folkestone.
• On the night of 25 September, a Nissan was stolen from outside a property in Marine Avenue, Dymchurch and an Audi was stolen from Lake Drive, Hythe. Both thefts came after the owner’s houses were burgled.
• A moped was stolen from New Lydd Road, Camber between 26 and 27 September.
• A VW and a Ford van were stolen from a property in Lydd between 27 and 28 September.
The Ford van from the final burglary was found in Camber and a Kent Police officer who attended to make enquiries obtained CCTV showing three men in the van.
Further enquiries led to CCTV footage being found showing the men entering a nearby holiday park. Officers obtained the men’s room number and the trio were arrested.
Analysis of their phones uncovered videos of them in the stolen cars following the thefts, which they had posted on social media, leading to them being charged on 29 September.
On 31 January this year, officers in Folkestone attempted to stop a Skoda which was driven in a suspicious manner in Gloucester Place.
The car then reversed at an unmarked police vehicle, which had to swerve to avoid it.
The occupants of the Skoda, which it later emerged had been stolen from south-west London, tried to run away, but the driver, Harrison Walker, was arrested.
He was charged with further offences of handling stolen goods, dangerous driving and other driving offences on 1 February this year.
Detective Constable Kirsty Gee, of Kent Police’s Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘Officers understand the often long-term impact of burglaries on people’s lives, and are determined to investigate fully to bring those responsible before the courts.
‘These offenders were unrelenting in the number of homes they targeted and the number of vehicles they stole, each of which would have impacted the owners’ day-to-day lives.
‘I am pleased this thorough investigation has seen these two men jailed and they will now be unable to cause further problems for the people of east Kent.’
Walker, 20, and Jones-McGilvray, 21, were sentenced on 23 September 2021. George Paton, 20, will be sentenced at a later date.