Medway men jailed for vehicle thefts in Gillingham
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Two men have been jailed for multiple burglaries and vehicle thefts during a two-day crime spree in Gillingham.
On Thursday 29 July 2021, Liam French and Max Cuthbert broke into an address in Collet Walk, Gillingham, and stole car-keys from the victim’s handbag before making off with their car.
In the early hours of Friday 30 July, the offenders broke into another property in Hawbeck Road. The victim became alert to the intruders after they noticed torch light beams on their landing and called out, causing the men to flee the scene.
Less than an hour later, French and Cuthbert targeted a third property in Howbury Walk, and stole a handbag containing various items, including a bank card, cash, perfumes, and car-keys, which they used to make off with the victim’s car.
At 3.59am, investigating officers conducted a search and located the two stolen vehicles travelling along Long Catlis Road, Rainham. The drivers failed to stop when requested, and a pursuit to the Isle of Sheppey saw the offenders drive at 70mph in 30mph zones.
One vehicle was brought to a stop after officers deployed a stinger, and French and Cuthbert were arrested.
Cuthbert was charged with one count of conspiracy to burgle and a charge of aggravated vehicle taking.
French was charged with two counts of conspiracy to burgle, one count of aggravated vehicle taking, failing to stop, and driving without insurance.
Both men appeared before Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 9 February 2023, where French, 22, of Lines Terrace, Chatham was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. Cuthbert, 20, of Sutton Close, Rainham was sentenced to two years and one month’s imprisonment at a young offenders’ institution.
A third suspect involved is awaiting sentencing.
Investigating officer, PC Ella Bootes, said:
‘French and Cuthbert are prolific thieves who unabashedly and repeatedly flouted the law in incidents of quick succession.‘When seeking to evade arrest, both demonstrated lack of care for other road users and pedestrians, putting them at risk by driving at excessive speeds. We are pleased by the court’s decision to sentence them to imprisonment and send the message to other offenders that crime does not pay.’