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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 19:36 GMT 20:36 UK
Hanoi-style car theft gang jailed
Expensive cars like Porsches were among the gang's targets
Five men who stole cars in Yorkshire at the rate of 250 a month have been jailed for a total of 24 years.

Leeds Crown Court heard the three ringleaders broke in to homes across the region to get the car keys in so-called Hanoi-style burglaries.

The cars were taken to a garage in Bradford where two other men would change the cars' identity marks.

In West Yorkshire alone, cars worth 60m were stolen, only half of which were recovered, the judge was told.

Cars cloned

Prosecutor Adrian Dent said the main burglars - Christopher North, Dean Moore and Gareth Smith - raided homes across West, North and East Yorkshire, stealing a range of high value vehicles.

They were taken to the garage run by James Maloney where they were "cloned".

The judge jailed Maloney, 25, of Alma Street, Bradford, for six-and-a-half years saying he was a "major player in the conspiracy".

Maloney pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to handle stolen motor vehicles, one of conspiracy to commit burglary and one of handling a stolen Lotus Elan.

Moore, North and Smith were each jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Moore, 23, of Barmby Place, Bradford, admitted three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary.

North, 22, of Shelby Grove, Bradford, admitted two counts of the same charge as did Smith, 23, of Post Office Road, Bradford.

Stopped by police

A fifth man, Mohammed Rehman, 27, of St Paul's Road, Bradford, was described as one of the mechanics involved in the conspiracy.

He admitted conspiracy to handle stolen motor vehicles and was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Kerry Macgill condemned the "sheer brass" of the burglary team who would often carry on with their raids even when they had been stopped by police on their way to the target houses.

Three other members of the gang are due to be sentenced on 19 July.

Hanoi-style burglaries are named after Operation Hanoi - the first police operation aimed at stamping them out.

Thieves accelerate car crime rate
12 Jan 05 |  South Yorkshire
Keys give thieves rich pickings
21 Dec 04 |  Humber

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