COMMIT a crime in this county and we will crush your car and take away your possessions.
That was the message sent out to the criminal fraternity by police yesterday (Tuesday) when a car seized from convicted thieves was reduced to a mangled cube of metal at a Wisbech scrapyard.
Det Sgt Christian O’Brien, who watched the L-Reg Ford Fiesta being crushed at Porter’s Scrapyard in Oldfield Lane, explained the move was aimed at signalling the force’s determination to fight crime across Cambridgeshire using everything at their disposal.
The car belonged to Dee-Jay Gordon Chapman (22) of Bath Road, Wisbech, who used it with his accomplice 22-year-old James Christie of Mill Road, Emneth, to steal metal from the garden of a home in Garden Lane, Wisbech St Mary in April.
Det Sgt O’Brien, who believed it was the first time a court order was used to seize a car used in general crime, said officers had become suspicious after spotting Chapman and Christie load metal into the car.
The officers had approached the pair who made off in the car chucking items out of the windows as they went.
They were eventually cornered when a police car coming from the opposite direction blocked their way.
Both men pleaded guilty to theft at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court where they were sentenced to 40 hours of unpaid work. Christie was also fined £95 for possession of cannabis and the court ordered Chapman’s car be destroyed.
Sgt O’Brien said he had realised the power to seize vehicles and other property was not being used as well as it could be and decided to utilise it as an additional deterrent for criminals.
He said the message now is “come to Cambridgeshire and commit a crime we will crush your car - it is simple: court, convict, crush.”
He continued: “Hopefully this will make people think twice about committing crime. People often accept their sentences but if we start taking away their possessions then that acts as another deterrent.
“Vehicles like this is what they use to commit crime- if they haven’t got them it will make it harder for them and they will also be out of pocket as they will have to replace them. Hopefully that means the good people of Cambridgeshire won’t be inconvenienced as much,” added Sgt O’Brien.