Northumberland: Police received a report at 10.30am on April 10, about a Land Rover Defender that was being driven in the water at Rothbury. Two men, aged 41 and 33, who are from the Newcastle area, were reported for driving offences. They have been issued with fixed penalty notices and the Environment Agency and Natural England have been informed. Alnwick Inspector Sue Peart said, 'The behaviour is absolutely intolerable. There are also environmental issues here as there is a lot of wildlife around the area.'
Lancashire: Travelling criminals who target high value cars by breaking into people’s homes to steal the keys are being warned as part of a crackdown in East Lancashire. It comes after a spate of offences in rural areas of Rossendale, Pendle, Burnley and also the Ribble Valley, where a number of high value vehicles have been stolen including a Range Rover Sport, worth £56,000, from Slaidburn, near Clitheroe. Thieves also attempted to steal a Land Rover Defender, worth around £20,000, from Laneshawbridge near Colne. Often offenders will break into houses to steal car keys that have been left on show or casually discarded on kitchen worktops. They have also been known to use a hook or cane to retrieve them through an unlocked window, letterbox or cat-flap.
West Midlands: Aston Villa star Nigel Reo-Coker has avoided an instant driving ban after striking a deal to plead guilty to speeding at 83mph. The £8.5 million midfielder was pulled over last November for travelling up to 114mph on the M40 as he drove back to Birmingham from London. He faced an automatic driving ban for going over 100mph in his 59-plate Range Rover but the 26-year-old instead pleaded guilty to driving at 83mph in an agreement between the prosecution and defence. The player escaped with a £60 fine and three penalty points. A spokesman for the Crown Prosection Service in the West Midlands, said, 'When he was pulled over, police had said he was averaging between 94mph and 114mph. There was some dispute about how fast he was going. The common ground was that he was travelling at 83mph.' Steve Parish, prosecuting at Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court yesterday, said, 'It is accepted by all parties that the defendant was the driver of a motor vehicle at about 10.45pm on November 11 last year. The defendant drove at a speed of 83mph and of course, the usual motorway speed limit of 70mph was in force.'
Cambridgeshire: A Defender stolen from a Melbourn car park was used in an attempted theft of a cash machine in Cambridge the following day. The grey Land Rover was taken from a car park in Station Road, Melbourn on Tuesday April 12. It was then used at about 2am the following day to try and pull the ATM machine from a wall at the post office in Coles Road, Cambridge. Three men dressed in black with faces covered attached a strap from the car to the machine but it broke. The offenders made off in an old style, dark Volkswagen Golf or a 4x4 vehicle. DC Paul Evans from Cambs Police said:, 'I would like to speak to anyone who saw the Land Rover Defender that night or the vehicle leaving the scene of the attempted raid. Any information people can provide could be of great importance to this inquiry.' Anyone with information should contact DC Evans on 0345 456 456 4, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.?
North Yorkshire: Members of a gang responsible for a car crime wave across North and East Yorkshire have been brought to justice. The group ran their operation as a business, stealing vehicles or machinery to order and selling it on, sometimes within hours, York Crown Court heard. On one occasion their actions led to a 20-minute high-speed chase through rural villages in North Yorkshire, after they were spotted stealing a trailer in Ampleforth. Tim Capstick, prosecuting, said Duke Wharton, of Kexby near Dunnington, rammed Mr Nicholson’s Land Rover Discovery twice and pushed it backwards for 35 metres to prevent it chasing him, when members of the gang were spotted stealing Mr Nicholson’s trailer in Millway, Ampleforth. Two of the men have now been jailed, while two others, 19-year-olds Joshua Luke Cooper, of Heather Bank, Osbaldwick, and Anthony Wharton, of Farrar Street, York, walked free from court with two-year community orders. Their supporters cheered as the orders were issued. A third gang member, Duke Wayne Wharton, 32, danced with delight as he was jailed for a year and eight months, and a fourth, Adam Winterburn, 23, of Lilac Avenue in Tang Hall, who had sent the trailer careering towards the Land Rover, was jailed for two years. Mr Capstick told the court the gang offered to steal cars 'to order' for undercover police officers, to whom they sold the proceeds of their night-time raids and bragged about their achievements, unaware they were being targeted as part of a police sting. In total, they stole items worth £30,000.