Gang jailed for stealing £1m worth of farming equipment across East Midlands

Colin Warriner, Dominic Alderton, Gary Self, Stefan Ward and John Watson were jailed for a combined total of over 12 year Credit: MEN Media

A gang of thieves who stole nearly £1 million worth of plant and agricultural equipment in a huge rural theft and burglary conspiracy have been jailed.

Colin Warriner, Dominic Alderton, Aaron Booth, Gary Self, Stefan Ward and John Watson repeatedly targeted different rural communities across the East Midlands - including much of Lincolnshire - between April 2020 and June 2022, and stole more than £910,000 worth of equipment.

During a series of thefts and commercial burglaries, the gang stole machinery, pick-up trucks, Land Rovers, vans and power tools, with the intention of breaking up the items into parts to be sold on.

They were caught following an extensive joint operation by Lincolnshire Police and Nottinghamshire Police. Detectives linked 65 different offences and carried out a series of synchronised early morning raids in May.

Warriner, Alderton, Booth, Self, Ward and Watson were all detained as part of the police sting and later pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to steal from another.

They each appeared for sentencing at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday 15 December and were jailed for a combined total of 12 years and four months.

Warriner, 36, of Newton on Trent, Lincoln was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, while Alderton, 36, of no fixed address was jailed for one year and six months.

Booth, 25, of East Bridgford received a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, while he was also handed a community order and made to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Self, 58, of Newark was jailed for three years and four months, Ward, 31, of Newark was sentenced to one year and six months, and Watson, 36, of Screveton received a sentence of two years and three months.

Det Insp Dave Harrop, of Lincolnshire Police, said: "The investigation represented a considerable investment of resources by both Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Police at a time of significant competing demands. I would like to thank everyone for their support.

"This was a tenacious investigation, and its success was driven by a small but dedicated team of detectives who tackled organised criminals who have plagued our rural communities head-on and brought them to justice. There has been a noticeable reduction in these crimes across the region since these men were remanded.

"This type of crime has a major impact on our rural communities, and this will not be tolerated. Rural crime is one of our top policing priorities and we continue to investigate all reports to ensure justice is served."

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