THREE men from Coventry have been jailed following the theft of 17 caravans and five motor vehicles across England and Wales.

Curtis Beston, of The Chantries, and brothers Lennon and Liam McMahon, both of Southam Close, all pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to steal from another and were sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Friday, August 16.

Beston, 25, was handed a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years.

Lennon McMahon, 19, and Liam McMahon, 18, were ordered to serve four years and three-and-a-half years respectively at a young offenders’ institute.

The trio were arrested by Cheshire Constabulary officers on Wrexham Road near Whitchurch shortly after 1am on Monday, May 20.

The Ford Transit van they were travelling in was pulled over as it looked like one that had been involved in the theft of caravans.

The van that was subsequently seized had cloned number plates and had been stolen from the Coventry area.

Subsequent analysis of the trio’s mobile phones and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV footage revealed that they had been involved in a crime spree since Friday, April 9, regularly travelling from their homes in Coventry late at night to break into caravan storage sites in the North West of England and North Wales.

As well as stealing caravans and motor vehicles, they caused criminal damage at many of the sites they targeted.

They also stole items from caravans that they did not tow away from the sites.

Detective Constable Paul Matchett, who led Cheshire Constabulary’s investigation into the crime spree, said: “Curtis Beston and Lennon and Liam McMahon believed that they could escape justice by carrying out crimes far away from their homes in the dead of night.

“They used stolen vehicles or vehicles with no registered keeper to steal caravans from storage sites as far afield as North Wales.

“There are around 40 victims and the money they have lost between them in terms of the caravans stolen and damaged alone is approximately £360k.

“Thankfully we were able to catch the trio during one of their trips to Cheshire and prove the extent of their crimes via our extensive subsequent enquiries.

“I am delighted that the trio are now behind bars facing the consequences of their actions and I want to thank everyone involved in the investigation for all their hard work in securing these convictions.

“I also want to acknowledge the support that we were given by other forces during the complex investigation and I hope that this case highlights the fact that offenders will be brought to justice no matter how far they travel to commit crimes.

“I also hope that the sentences handed down by Chester Crown Court deters others from committing similar crimes.”

The sites the trio targeted were predominantly in Cheshire – in Croughton, Coddington and Capenhurst, all near Chester, in Oakmere near Northwich, in Wettenhall near Winsford, in Byley between Middlewich and Northwich and in Warmingham near Crewe.

Between 2pm and 5.20pm on Tuesday, April 9, two caravans were stolen and criminal damage was caused at Top Farm in Croughton.

One of the caravans was said to be very rare, with only 25 ever made and worth £19.5k, while barrels of diesel had been stolen.

Further damage was caused and another caravan was stolen from Trench Farm Fisheries and Touring Park in Penley, Wrexham, between 5am and 5.30am on Saturday, April 13.

The stolen caravan was worth £10k, with the victim of the theft, who had various health issues, finding the theft "deeply upsetting".

Three caravans and a Land Rover were stolen from a warehouse in Byley between 3.30am and 4.30am on Friday, April 19.

Two more caravans were taken from a site in the Y Ffôr village near to Pwllheli in North Wales, at around 4am on Monday, April 22.

A £28k caravan was stolen and a gate lock was damaged at Cherry Orchard Farm in Oakmere village at approximately the same time on Saturday, April 27.

There were two caravan thefts, worth £20k and £16.5k at Manor Farm Barns farm in Wettenhall village at around 3.30am on Friday, May 3.

Two more, worth £20,131 and £15k, were stolen from Moss Lane Farm in Warmingham, at approximately 4am on Monday, May 6, as was a Ford Transit van. Criminal damage valued at nearly £2k was also caused at the site.

Another Ford Transit van was stolen from the Ryton-on-Dunsmore village near Coventry overnight on Tuesday, May 7.

Two caravans worth £25k and £18.5k were stolen from a caravan park that was damaged on Mill Lane in Coddington between 2am and 4.30am on Thursday, May 9.

Subsequent security costs at the caravan park cost the owners between £12k-15k.

Two caravans worth £19.9k and £19.4k, plus a Ford Transit van were taken from Sevenacres in Capenhurst village between 2am and 3.30am on Tuesday, May 14. The yellow Ford Transit van was later found with extensive damage and changed plates in Coventry.

Finally, a lorry was stolen from a timber yard in Long Whatton, Loughborough, Leicestershire, at around 2.30am on Saturday, May 18.

The court heard Beston had 16 previous convictions for 24 offences, including handling stolen goods and burglary. Liam McMahon had three previous convictions for four offences including shoplifting, assault and dishonesty. Lennon McMahon had one previous conviction for a motoring offence.

Victim personal impact statements included those who said they had sleepless nights, 'immeasurable' stress and anxiety, and that it felt difficult to feel good about life when a caravan they had saved for over many years had been taken away.

Several of the victims did not have contents insurance and were left out of pocket by the thefts.

Peter Barnett, defending Lennon McMahon, said he was a young man and had worked full time as a window cleaner for many years, and was a father.

Jo Maxwell, defending Liam McMahon, said her client had not been responsible for the offences prior to May 3, had been working since leaving school and he had qualifications ad a bricklayer and scaffolder.

Adam Antoszkiw, defending Beston, said Beston's father had been jailed for 14 years when Beston was just eight and he had gone into care as a result.

He was moved 33 times in various institutions, became homeless and fell in with the wrong crowd.

Beston regretted he was going to be imprisoned for a significant amount of time and would miss being a father to his own two children.

Judge Patrick Thompson, sentencing the trio, said: "This was a highly sophisticated and organised operation, with 11 offences committed in six weeks.

"People have been left bereft and devastated. Some had put their life savings into the caravans."