Members of a Tyneside-based car-ringing gang have been prosecuted for their offences, according to a report from chroniclelive.co.uk.
Those involved in the gang, which was led by a man called Lee Thompson, made over £100,000 by 'ringing' care. This is the act of stealing a car, replacing its unique ID numbers with those from a car that's been written off, then passing it on with false documentation, autotrader.co.uk confirmed.
They also dismantled some of the vehicles they stole and sold parts on to others via eBay. Thompson was said to be the 'prime mover'; allowing the gang to take the cars apart in his own industrial units. The offences show just how important vehicle tracking is, as the criminals could've been found - or at least the cars themselves identified - before the vehicles were dismantled.
During a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, Thompson received three and a half years in prison for his crimes. His accomplices were handed suspended sentences though, with varying restrictions - like full supervision during the suspended period, or court mandates forcing them to undertake unpaid work.
Presiding judge, David Wood, commented: "This conspiracy involved a large number of valuable vehicles being stolen in this area. The net result is for the general public insurance premiums continued [sic] to go up."