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Stolen telephone cash hidden in secret compartment

Created on 03/04/2018 @ 13:30

Two men have been jailed for stealing thousands of pounds from telephone kiosks in the area, which they hid in a secret compartment in their car boot.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers investigating the thefts, which spanned three counties across two police forces, found £3,200 in coins stashed in a compartment accessed by a secret switch.

More than £4,000 was found in total.

Peter Luke Amos Smith, aged 36, of Peterborough, and John Christopher Smith, aged 26, of Benwick, faced four charges of theft from a meter, going equipped for theft and acquiring, using or possessing criminal property.

The investigation began on Sunday, February 18, when several calls were received reporting damage to BT phone kiosks and car parking meters, and cash stolen.

Reports were made from across Powys, Ceredigion and Gwynedd and to both Dyfed-Powys Police and North Wales Police.

Swift enquiries identified a potential suspect vehicle within the Dyfed-Powys area, and a proactive stop check was carried out on the A483 at Llanymynech at 10.55pm that day. Evidence was found linking the occupants of the car with the crime spree, and the two men were arrested.

Further searches revealed more than £3,200 in coins hidden in a compartment in the boot, which was accessed by a secret switch installed in an arm rest hatch. The compartment contained cash boxes, bags of coins, a cordless drill, power saw and battery packs.

Following a thorough investigation, which involved collating evidence from both Dyfed-Powys Police and North Wales Police, the suspects were charged and remanded the next day. Both men admitted the charges at Mold Crown Court and were sentenced to 27 months each in prison.

Newtown Sergeant Ash Brice said: “We are pleased with this sentence, following a swift and efficient investigation into high value thefts across three counties.

“Good proactive work carried out initially, particularly by the ops room in tracking down the car, followed by excellent research and investigative actions by the officer in case, assisted in expediting the enquiry and an early positive outcome at court.”