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Van thief was caught towing a stolen caravan
10:30am Saturday 7th September 2013 in News
A MAN has been jailed after he was caught driving stolen vehicles during a string of “professional” crimes.
Patrick McFarlane, of Warburg Crescent, Blackbird Leys, was sentenced on Thursday for theft and handling stolen goods.
Paul Harrison, prosecuting, said the 51-year-old was charged with stealing a Volkswagen Crafter van on August 6 last year, after failing to return it to a Didcot hire firm.
The offence came to light when McFarlane was caught driving a stolen Fiat Ducato, pulling a stolen caravan.
He was arrested after police officers saw him pulling into Redbridge Hollow travellers site, near Hinksey Hill, at 3am on January 11.
McFarlane had replaced the number plates and tax disk on the van and caravan, which had been stolen from a farm in Essex, to avoid detection.
The court heard he had 38 convictions for 83 offences, including 15 for theft.
Victoria Kerly, defending, said the former drug addict had kicked his habit and trained as a plumber, but had fallen into debt after being stabbed.
Recorder Rhona Campbell jailed him for a total of 24 months, saying the crimes had involved “professional elements”.
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