Two men who targeted classics Minis and broke them for spares before selling the parts on eBay have been jailed for a total of six and a half years.
Stephen Fiddimore, 36, of Shearwater, Longfield in Kent pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
His partner in crime, Sam Metten, 28, of Polsteads, Basildon in Essex was found guilty of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles after a week-long trial and jailed for three years.
The duo, who operated from lock-ups in Kent and Essex, were caught following an investigation into thefts of classic Minis by the Metropolitan Police.
Detective Inspector Caroline Clooney, of the Met’s Organised Vehicle Crime Unit, said: “These men systematically targeted the owners of classic Minis across the South East. Many of the vehicles had been lovingly restored and were the owners’ pride and joy. Discovering that their cars had been stolen obviously caused them much distress and inconvenience.
“I am pleased with the sentences handed down and hope it sends out a message that the Met is serious about tackling car crime and will always seek to destroy the activities of individuals involved in it.”
Fiddimore and Metten ran a business dealing solely in classic Mini parts, mostly being sold on internet auction site eBay.
It’s thought that the pair were responsible for the theft of more than 40 vehicles across London, Kent and Essex between August 2014 and May 2015. They used their specialist knowledge to hotwire Minis and drive them away, police say.