Lapworth man jailed for dealing in high-value stolen goods

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A ‘professional handler’ who specialised in trading in high-value stolen trailers has been jailed for dealing in property worth more than £60,000.

Jason Holdsworth had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to 13 charges of handling stolen goods on various dates over a 10-year period.

Holdsworth (30) of Station Lane, Lapworth, who ‘undertook or assisted in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation’ of the stolen items, was jailed for two years and three months.

Prosecutor Blondel Thompson said Holdworth, described as ‘a professional handler of stolen goods,’ had been involved with stolen property worth a total of well over £60,000.

Miss Thompson said that, operating from his yard in Station Lane, Holdworth’s early offences involved the handling of an Ifor Williams trailer which had been stolen in 2008, a boat and trailer, and a second Ifor Williams trailer stolen in 2017.

In April 2018 a boat worth around £10,000 was stolen from outside the owner’s house in Luddington near Stratford and towed by a van on false number plates to Holdsworth’s yard, where it was found seven days later.

Also found at the yard when it was raided by the police was another boat, worth £4,500, which had been stolen from the drive of the owner’s home in Bromsgrove the previous month while he was at work.

In January that year a horse trailer worth £4,500 had been stolen from a warehouse where it was stored near the owner’s home in Cranmore Boulevard, Shirley, Solihull.

By the time it was recovered in May, having been sold by Holdsworth, the insurance company had paid out for it, said Miss Thompson.

Around the same time as that theft, another horse trailer worth £2,500 was stolen from a field in Allimore Lane, Alcester, but was recovered from Holdsworth’s yard.

Also found at the yard was a horse trailer worth £3,560 which had been stolen from a yard in Green Lane, Redditch, in January 2018, and another taken from stables in Tardebigge, near Redditch, just days before the police search.

Officers also recovered a quad bike which had been stolen from the drive of a house in Stratford in August 2017.

In June 2017 a unique racing car trailer, the only one produced by the manufacturer in a sapphire blue colour, worth £10,000, was stolen from the drive of the owner’s Birmingham home.

The following month Holdsworth had obtained new keys for the trailer before selling it at auction in Kent for £4,500 – and it was eventually recovered from the unsuspecting purchaser.

The police finally got on Holdsworth’s trail after he put an advert on the Gumtree website for a car trailer.

The trailer, worth £3900, had been stolen from a farm in Tanworth-in-Arden, and the advert was spotted by the owner who contacted the police.

And another advert, for a £14,500 digger which had been stolen from premises in Hockley Heath, provided a trail to Holdsworth’s door, said Miss Thompson.

He had agreed a sale for £10,800 and had asked the buyer to pay £300 into his mother’s bank account, with the balance being paid in cash.

But when the purchaser later checked the digger’s VIN (vehicle identification number) plate he found it did not match the registration number, so informed the police.

Jailing Holdsworth, Judge Anthony Potter told him the offences were too serious for a sentence which could be suspended.