Member of Bristol gang of car thieves which stole £500k worth of prestige cars jailed

Anthony Rodriguez-Taylor was identified in part due to the distinctive clothing he wore while committing his crimes. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A member of a gang of car thieves who stole an estimated £500,000 of high value cars around Bristol has been jailed.

Anthony Rodriguez-Taylor, 22, of Sea Mills, was identified by police through DNA and the distinctive clothing he wore while committing his crimes.

In one of the gang's raids, a stolen Mini Cooper was used to smash into a garage before blow torches and jemmies - a type of crowbar - were used to force entry in a failed bid to steal a motocross bike. 

Rodriguez-Taylor pleaded guilty to three burglaries, an attempted burglary, theft, a non-dwelling burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

He asked for 27 similar offences across the South West to be considered - involving the theft of mainly Audi and VW cars from properties in Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire. 

He was banned from driving for 40 months and ordered to take an extended driving test. He had available assets of £1,147.50 confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Judge Mark Horton jailed Rodriguez-Taylor for three years and seven months at Bristol Crown Court.

He said: "I have to sentence you for a vast number of extremely serious offences, offences that are aggravated significantly by the fact that these were acts of professional and planned burglaries by a group of sophisticated criminals targeting, in particular, high value vehicles."

He was also involved in burgling a home in Abbots Leigh. Police identified him as the same burglar as he the top he was wearing as captured was identifiable and on CCTV.

When arrested he admitted having drug dependency but then made no comment.

His lawyer said: "He is well aware he is facing a lengthy custodial sentence as a result of the part he played in these offences. He was not acting alone, others were with him on every occasion."

She continued to explain that her client had suffered a difficult childhood, struggling with ADHD and had started offending at a "tender age".

She said Rodriguez-Taylor wished to wipe the slate clean to ensure no other offences came back to bite him.

The lead Investigating Officer from Avon and Somerset police, PC Jim Card said: "Significant time and effort went into this investigation over several months.

"This is a great result for the team and justice for those victims who, not only had their possessions stolen, but also had their homes broken into and their privacy breached.

"An investigation to identify further offenders is still ongoing but it would appear Rodriguez-Taylor was a key member of the gang as, after he was placed on remand in February 2022, the offending considerably slowed down."