Hove's Robert Thompson jailed for driving stolen cars under false plates
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A Hove man who drove thousands of pounds-worth of stolen vehicles under false registration plates has been jailed.
Robert Thompson, 35, of Church Road in Hove, was sentenced to 30 months in prison at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday (March 17) after pleading guilty to five offences. Half will be served on licence.
Thompson was found behind the wheel of a £50,000 stolen Range Rover Velar on January 6, 2021, which was driving under a false registration plate linked to a different Range Rover Velar which had been stolen from Brighton.
The Range Rover Velar was found to have been stolen from a property in West Drayton in December, 2020, and GPS data from Thompson’s phone linked him to the area at that time.
He was also found to have been driving a Range Rover Evoque – valued at £13,500 – under false registration plates, which had been stolen from Hove in August, 2020.
He was arrested and released under investigation but 12 months later, on January 13, 2022, a stolen Citroen Nemo van with false registration plates was found parked in front of his house.
Police searched his property and found the keys to the Citroen and a quantity of cocaine.
DNA and fingerprint evidence also linked him to a BMW X3 worth £12,000 stolen from Worthing in June, 2020.
He was arrested by officers from Sussex Police's Specialist Enforcement Unit (SEU).
Thompson pleaded guilty to three counts of receiving stolen goods in relation to the two Range Rovers and the BMW and two counts of fraudulently using false registration plates on the Range Rover Velar and Citroen Nemo.
Investigating officer DS Tom Duffy, of the Specialist Enforcement Unit, said: “Robert Thompson is a professional criminal, experienced in using false registration plates to hide his crimes.
“These thefts were of a significant value and had a huge impact on his victims and the community as a whole.
“Securing this custodial sentence for several offences over a number of years is testament to the teamwork that went into arresting Thompson and gathering the evidence that proved his crimes.
“I would like to thank the victims and everybody involved in the case for their help in bringing him to justice, and reaffirm our commitment to making Brighton and Hove an inhospitable place for criminals.”