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Farm theft gang leaders forced to repay £120,000 after preying on isolated properties

The two leaders of a farm theft gang which preyed on isolated properties have been ordered to repay almost £120,000 or face longer jail sentences.

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Farm theft gang leaders forced to repay £120,000 - or face longer in jail #RuralCrime

Daniel Small sent his two sons out to raid farms all over South and West Devon to steal farm machinery or Land Rovers, many of which were ’ringed’ at a yard in North Somerset.


The Small gang carried out the 31 raids which included thefts from farms, riding schools and even a cattery. They stole £281,470 worth of vehicles and tools in a seven month spree.


The raids took place all over the South Hams, Plymouth, West Devon, South Dartmoor and extended into East Cornwall and North Devon.


Daniel Small Senior ran a scrap yard at Linketty Lane on the outskirts of Plymouth and some of the stolen farm machinery was hidden at neighbour Barry Stephens farm at Wembury.


Small, aged 61, was jailed for four years and Isaacs, aged 45, of The Paddock, Puriton, for three years after they were found guilty of conspiracy to steal at a trial at Exeter Crown Court in March 2017.

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Stephens, aged 59, of South Barton Farm, Wembury, was jailed for ten months, suspended for a year, after he admitted handling.


All three returned to Exeter Crown Court where Judge Erik Salomonsen approved an agreed order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.


He ruled that Small and Isaacs had jointly benefited by £119,800 and ordered Small to pay £100,000 and Isaacs to pay £19,800.


He declared that Stephens had benefited by £27,000 and ordered him to repay this amount.


He ordered all the money to be repaid within three months and set periods of imprisonment in default of two years for Small and one year for Isaacs and Stephens.


Lawyers representing all the men said they would have to sell assets or remortgage to find the money. Small has already put property on the market and Stephens plans to remortgage his land.

Isaacs is to sell a valuable watch which he bought through the illegal sales of the Land Rovers and hand over some cash which was seized on his arrest.


James Small, aged 36, of Berkshire Drive, Plymouth, and Daniel Small, aged 25, of Ward Place, Plymouth, who were both jailed, were found to have no assets and so no orders were made against them.


The trial last year heard how the thefts targeted farmers and a rural economy in which many businesses are struggling to survive.


They normally struck overnight and the thefts carried on until a tracking device on a stolen quad bike led police to Isaacs’ yard at a traveller’s site at Puriton, near Bridgwater in January 2016.


The thefts included horse boxes, trailers, quad bikes, Land Rovers, and a rigid inflatable boat from Queen Anne’s Marina. The two sons even stole a pair of jet skis which they were seen trying to ride unsuccessfully at Wembury beach, near Plymouth.


The full list of thefts:

  • Thorn Farm, Bridgerule, Holsworthy. Trailer. £16,000. October 2004.
  • Ley Combe, Modbury. Tractor £5,000. August 2007.
  • Coombe Farm, Lifton. Trailer £2,504. December 2014.
  • Callisham Farm, Yelverton. Loader £15,000. January 2015.
  • Haytown, Horrabridge. Quad bike £1,000. July 2015.
  • Westmac, Bittaford x 2, Shogun 4x4. £1,500. August 2015. Ford Focus, Volvo. £6,900. November 2015.
  • Tor Town Farm, Moortown, Tavistock. Trailer, high lift, other tools. £19,000. August 2015.
  • Station Yard, South Brent. Telescopic handler, 2 jetskis, tools, £23,700. October 2015
  • Romford, Essex. Transit. £6,000. November 2015.
  • Beacon Riding School , Bittaford. Land Rover Discovery. £6,000. December 2015. Generator. £355. December 2015.
  • Queen Anne’s Battery Marina , Plymouth. Ribeye RIB. £21,000. December 2015
  • Yappers Farm, Tamerton Foliot. Tipper, trailer, compactor. £19,000. January 2016.
  • Edgecumbe Road Motors, Lostwithiel. Defender. £12,000.
  • Shipsen Hill Farm, Yealmpton. Land Rover pickup. £10,000. Sept 2015
  • Whitley Farm, Thurlestone, Kingsbridge. Defender and tools. £19,000. Oct 2015.
  • Mike Rowe Autocare. Parkway Industrial Estate, Plymouth. Discovery £13,000. November 2015.
  • Plymouth Van and Car Sales, Valley Road , Plymouth. Discovery. £10,500. November 2015.
  • Well Park Farm, Dean Prior. Land Rover. £9,000. November 2015.
  • Lizwell Farm, Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Defender. £10,000. December 2015.
  • Monks Cross, Callington. Defender and tools £10,000.
  • Woodland Barton Farm, Avonwick, Totnes. Trialer. £4,000. December 2015.
  • Meads Farm Harford, Ivybridge. Defender pickup. £11,000. Deceember 2015.
  • Tin Park riding stables, Cornwood. Horse box. £3,500. December 2015.
  • Lutton Farm, South Brent. Quad bike. £6,000. December 2014.
  • Dorwill Cattery, Ivybridge. Horse trailer. £250. December 2015
  • South Barton, Brixton. Suzuki quad bike. £6,000. January 2016.
  • Forder Valley stables, Plymouth. Horse trailer £4,250. December 2015.
  • Stoke Damerell Business Centre, Church St, Plymouth. Yodel transit van. £11,700.
  • House at Lamerton. burglary, nothing taken.

FG subs FINAL 2017

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