North East gang stole up to £1m of parts from Nissan to sell on eBay

Using inside men at the Washington car manufacturer, the gang stole expensive car parts them sold them on eBay for a fraction of their value

From top left, Anthony Ganley, Steven Ganley, David Evans, Kris Beckwith, Neil Crossan, Paul Burrell, Gavin Wright, David Whitfield and Lee Myers
From top left, Anthony Ganley, Steven Ganley, David Evans, Kris Beckwith, Neil Crossan, Paul Burrell, Gavin Wright, David Whitfield and Lee Myers

A professional gang stole almost £1m of car parts from Nissan then flogged them on eBay.

Using inside men who worked for Nissan and firms linked to the Washington car manufacturer, the crooks helped themselves to expensive parts.

Four ringleaders in the gang were yesterday jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after undercover police smashed the plot.

The court heard they stole at least 330 satellite navigation units, valued at £2,600 each, selling them on eBay for £150.

Sentencing nine of the gang, Judge Jeremy Freedman said: “The conspiracy to steal the goods and the handling of them has the hallmarks of professionalism.

“It involved people on the inside stealing the items and passing them on to others.”

Nissan had contacted police in January 2012 after the firm noticed new car components for sale on eBay for a fraction of their value.

An undercover probe was launched, code-named Operation Broadway.

It emerged that most of the stolen items were being passed to father and son Anthony and Stephen Ganley.

Stephen Ganley, who used to work at Nissan, sold 88 of the satnav units, worth £230,000, through his eBay account.

He also ordered the theft of a pallet of 96 of the units and was duped into meeting undercover officers to arrange deals on the parts.

Ganley, 30, of Padgate Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to handle stolen goods and was jailed for five years.

Anthony Ganley, 48, of the same address, owned and ran a car radio shop in Trimdon, Sunderland, and claimed he was offered the stolen parts at a knock down price.

He admitted the same charges as his son and was jailed for three years.

Kris Beckwith and David Evans worked for a delivery firm which move components around for Nissan between warehouses and the factory.

Beckwith, 35, of Newbury Street, Monkwearmouth, orchestrated the thefts and used his job as a driver to find out where the parts would be. He admitted conspiracy to steal and was jailed for 40 months.

Former paratrooper Evans, 31, of Cartwright Road, Sunderland, stole a pallet of satnav units. He was convicted after a trial of conspiracy to steal and was jailed for 18 months.

Paul Burrell, an agency driver for the same firm, allowed some of the stolen goods to be sold through his eBay account.

The 41-year-old, of Front Road, Sunderland, admitted conspiracy to handle stolen goods and was given two years suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work.

David Whitfield, 38, of Silksworth Row, Sunderland, who worked as a driver for a firm unrelated to Nissan, admitted conspiracy to steal and was given 12 months suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work.

Neil Crossan, 46, of Strathmore Road, Springwell, a family friend of the Ganleys, stole six satnav units and 32 USB leads, worth £16,000.

He admitted conspiracy to handle and was given 15 months, suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work.

Gavin Wright, 27, of Monkton Avenue, South Shields, an agency driver for Nissan who helped load vehicles at Port of Tyne, and supplied some stolen items to the Ganleys. He admitted theft and got 15 months suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work.

Lee Myers, 33, of Coronation Avenue, Blackhall, Durham sold £55,000 of satnav units using his eBay account.

He admitted handling and got two years suspended and 200 hours of unpaid work.

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