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Tracker helps police catch trio of thieves driving off in stolen motorhome

Attempts to steal a motorhome from outside a Bolton house were thwarted when a tracker fitted to it led police to find the vehicle.

Richard Johnson, Sean Morris and Thomas Poulson carefully planned the theft of the Fiat Ducato motorhome from the driveway of a house near Bolton on June 28 last year.

The trio dismantled part of the dashboard, used a device to start the vehicle without a key and even slashed the tyres of other vehicles on the drive to stop the owner from following them.

The owner of the £45,000 motorhome, David Gorton, heard a car alarm going off outside the house just before midnight.

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At Bolton Crown Court Jack Troupe, prosecuting, said: “He (David) went to the living room of his property and looked out of a window and immediately noticed that the motorhome was on longer on the driveway where he had left it.

“Two of his other vehicles had had their tyres slashed.”

Using the motorhome tracker, police managed to find the motorhome while it was still being driven.

Officers found it being followed by a Volkswagen Golf, which had false plates.

When they stopped, Johnson and Poulson got out of the motorhome and tried to get into the VW Golf, but its doors were locked and so they ran off towards the East Lancs Road.

Police cars boxed in the Golf, arrested Morris and found a debit card belonging to Johnson inside.

Other officers gave chase to the men on foot, with Poulson discarding items, including two broken mobile phones, as he fled.

He was caught and arrested while Johnson was found hiding in a back garden.

Mr Troupe added: ”Plugged into the ignition was a device which the officers believed was used to start the engine without the keys.”

Johnson, aged 34, Salford, Morris, aged 34, and Poulson, aged 32, all have previous convictions and pleaded guilty to theft of the motorhome.

Recorder Alexandra Simmonds sentenced Johnson to three years and seven months in prison.

Morris was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake a thinking skills programme plus 30 days of rehabilitation activities.

Poulson was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for two years, must undertake 120 hours of unpaid work and participate in a thinking skills programme plus 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

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