Tracker led police straight to stolen motorhome being used to store drugs, court hears

A tracking device was used by police to find a stolen motorhome which was being used by a drug dealer to store heroin and crack cocaine, Wales Online reports.

The £30,000 leisure vehicle had only been used three times when it was taken.

However, it then took police 27 months to charge the man they found with the motorhome and drugs.

Hannah George, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that sometime between January 8 and January 12, 2021, a motorhome worth £30,000 was stolen from the Swansea area.

On realising that it had gone, the owner contacted police and activated the motorhome’s tracking device.

The court heard the tracker showed the van to be located off Hafod Street in Hafod, Swansea.

Related: Police appeal for information about stolen motorhome

The court heard how Liam McCabe could be heard “moving things around” and jumping up and down when police approached the motorhome, before attempting to run off.

The prosecutor said the motorhome had suffered “significant damage” in the time since its theft.

On the roof of the vehicle police found a plastic pot containing 15 wraps of heroin and 29 wraps of crack cocaine in various weight deals with a combined street value of around £1,500.

McCabe was arrested and taken to Swansea Central police station where he answered “no comment” to all questions asked.

He had previously pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply, possession of crack with intent to supply, and handling stolen goods when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

He has six previous convictions for nine offences.

In May 2022 he was sentenced to three years in prison for conveying prohibited items into prison – this offence, dating back to September 2019, had seen McCabe and co-defendant Mark Baldwin throwing old Ribena bottles containing Valium, cannabis, cocaine, tobacco, and mobile phones and chargers over the walls of HMP Parc in Bridgend.

He is currently serving this sentence, with a release date in November this year.

David Singh, for McCabe said the defendant’s partner had written what he called a “very impressive” letter to the court that showed a different side to the defendant.

He said his client, who has a two-year-old son, was a very different person to the one who committed the offences in 2021, and was somebody who had demonstrated a good work ethic and who takes parental responsibilities seriously.

The barrister pointed to the delay in the case coming to court, and noted that a total of five people had initially been charged in connection with handling the stolen motorhome – and that arguably the evidence against them was equally as strong – but only McCabe had taken responsibility.

The barrister said his client had been on the point of being released from prison on a home curfew when he had received the summons in the post in April this year telling him he was going to be charged with the 2021 drug offences.

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