'More than £86,000 worth of stolen goods': Family of thieves sentenced over 'sophisticated' criminal operation in Northamptonshire

Three members of the same family and a teenager have been sentenced in relation to more than 160 thefts in Northamptonshire described as having a 'significant' impact on the victims.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 11:59 am
Two of the Devlin brothers seen stealing from a car on CCTV. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

Brothers Noel and Jimmy Devlin, of Dun Roamin Park near Whitfield, were jailed for their involvement in the 'sophisticated' criminal operation targeting vehicles, shops and petrol stations at Northampton Crown Court last week.

Another sibling, Hughie Devlin, was given a suspended sentence and father James Devlin's sentencing was adjourned - a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named was given a youth rehabilitation order.

Detective Inspector Simon Barnes said: “We do not underestimate the significant impact that these offences have had on individuals and small businesses alike.

Two of the Devlin brothers seen stealing from a car on CCTV. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

"It is not simply the cost of replacing tools but the loss of income as a result of being unable to work and the extensive repair costs to vehicles, which are substantial.

“I want to send a clear message to those contemplating coming to Northamptonshire to commit thefts from hard-working members of our county - we will pursue you by all means available and put you before the courts for your crimes.”

The group of five were arrested and charged with conspiracy to steal after police raided the Dun Roamin caravan park near Brackley on February 19, 2018.

As a result, detectives were given more than 160 offences to investigate, including thefts from motor vehicles, thefts from shops and making off without payment at petrol stations.

An aerial shot of the police raid at Dun Roamin Park near Whitfield in February 2018. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

On sentencing, His Honour Judge Fowler commented on how the conspiracy was “sophisticated in its planning, scouting out premises and confronting occupiers to deter suspicions".

“Over £86,000 worth of goods were stolen. The targeting of working men’s tools is a seriously aggravating feature,” he added.

"Those who work manually, require those tools. Those tools carry a connection beyond their monetary value.”

On June 27, the group attended Northampton Crown Court charged with 35 offences for the first day of a scheduled three-week trial.

James Devlin, 49, Jimmy Devlin, 19, and the 16-year-old, all pleaded guilty to the offence of conspiring to steal between September 1, 2017, and February 20, 2018.

Hughie Devlin, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of a high-value theft while Noel Devlin, 28, pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft.

Last week, Noel Devlin was given 12 months imprisonment and Jimmy Devlin was given 18 months detention and a training order.

Hughie Devlin, of Staples Road, Bristol, was given 18 months in jail, suspended for two years with a requirement to attend a thinking skills workshop and complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

The boy was given a youth rehabilitation order with two years' supervision, six months on a tagged night-time curfew and 120 hours of unpaid work.

James Devlin will be sentenced on Friday, September 27.

Det Insp Barnes added: “This has been a very lengthy investigation and hundreds of hours have gone into building a case against the defendants, who all denied their involvement up until the first day of the trial.

“I commend the officers and staff involved in this investigation for their tireless efforts to bring these offenders to justice.

"This has not been a 9-5 job, but many weekends and late evenings have been taken up to secure these convictions."