Man pleads guilty to theft after trailer-load of 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs stolen

Almost 200,000 eggs were stolen from a unit in Stafford Park, Telford. Credit: PA

A man has pleaded guilty to theft and criminal damage, after almost 200,000 Cadbury creme eggs were stolen from an industrial unit in Telford.

Joby Pool used a metal grinder to break into the unit, before using a stolen lorry cab to drive off with assorted chocolate goods.

He used a tractor unit which had been stolen in the Yorkshire area in October to tow away the trailer.

The 32-year-old was stopped northbound on the M42, before being arrested in connection with the incident on February 11, which involved an estimated £40,000 worth of confectionery.

The court heard how Pool, from West Yorkshire, had previous convictions for a similar offence, having been dealt with at Derby Crown Court in 2019 for theft, handling stolen goods and driving while disqualified.

Prosecutor Owen Beale told magistrates: "This clearly wasn’t spur-of-the-moment offending, if I can put it like that, because he had taken with him a tractor unit and he had to know that the load was there in the first place.

"It’s clearly a leading role and it’s clearly significant planning."

Pool pleaded guilty to theft of a lorry trailer belonging to SW Logistics, theft of its contents belonging to Magna Specialist Confectioners, and criminal damage to a chain lock.

In mitigation, Mr McMillan said: "He stopped the vehicle when he realised he was being followed.

"He realised that the game was up – he realised the police were behind him and pulled in when it was safe to do so.

"Everything (stolen) had been recovered and that will no doubt assist the owners of the various items that have been taken.

"There has been no interference with the food products that were taken – they will be in a condition that they can go back on the shelves."

In a statement, the West Mercia Police said: "Shortly after the theft a vehicle, presumably purporting to be the Easter bunny, was stopped northbound on the M42 and a man was arrested on suspicion of theft.”

In a series of tweets, the force said the "eggs-travagant theft" unfolded at Stafford Park in Telford, Shropshire.

"A number of other chocolate varieties were also stolen," police said.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Market Drayton station replied to news the haul had been recovered, telling police "eggcellent work by all involved".

He is expected to be jailed for two years at his sentencing on 14 March at Shrewsbury Magistrates’ Court.