Police snare criminal gang whose £750,000 operation fuelled vehicle thefts across Kent and south-east London

PUBLISHED: 10:10 27 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:10 27 November 2016

Lee Bridges

Lee Bridges


The criminals handled stolen vehicles and sold them on to unsuspecting buyers

Leslie DanielsLeslie Daniels

Members of a gang whose activities fuelled the theft of vehicles across Kent and south-east London have been jailed following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

The five men were engaged in vehicle ‘ringing’ - handling stolen vehicles and selling them on to unsuspecting buyers in a criminal operation worth more than £750,000.

Officers from the Met’s Organised Vehicle Crime Unit launched an investigation when a stolen Ford Transit was traced to an industrial estate in Swanley in July 2015.

When they arrived at the site, police found 34 stolen vans that were in the process of either being stripped for parts or having their identification numbers and markings swapped for vehicles that weren’t shown as stolen.

Danny OrglesDanny Orgles

Two men, Danny Sheehy and Leslie Daniels, were both arrested at the site, but a third man - later identified as Ricky Mantell - managed to escape.

Further enquiries led officers to another industrial unit in Rettendon, Essex, and detectives arrested both Lee Bridge and Danny Orgles after they found a further eight stolen Transit vans at the site.

While on bail, Sheehy, Mantell, Bridge and Orgles returned to the site in Swanley and continued to receive and dismantle stolen vans.

In December 2015, officers raided the site again and found another 13 stolen vehicles, with officers arresting Mantell in the process.

Danny SheehyDanny Sheehy

The gang were found to have handled 74 stolen vehicles in total - 62 of which were Ford Transits - with a total value of £789,000.

The five men were charged in December 2015 with conspiracy to handle stolen vehicles and pleaded guilty at the Inner London Crown Court.

Detective inspector Caroline Clooney of the Met’s Organised Vehicle Crime Unit said: “This was a well-organised gang of criminals who were handling stolen Ford Transit vans to break up for parts or to sell on to innocent purchasers.

“Their activity fuelled the theft of Transit vans across the south-east London and Kent area.

Ricky MantellRicky Mantell

“The impact on the victims was significant as they relied on their vehicle for their livelihood, so this sentence is good news for van owners across the region.”

Danny Sheehy, 34, of Manor Road, Sidcup was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

Ricky Mantell, 31, of Overton Road, Abbey Wood was jailed for three years, while Lee Bridges, 39, of Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, received a two-and-a-half year sentence.

Danny Orgles, 21, of Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment (suspended for 18 months).

Leslie Daniels, 28, of Commonwealth Way, Abbey Wood was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment (suspended for 12 months).

Latest Bexley news

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

People who live, work and travel across Kent, Thurrock, Essex and beyond are being invited to shape plans for Britain’s biggest road tunnel as Highways England hostrf the first of 60 public engagement events on the multi-billion pound Lower Thames Crossing project this week (Tuesday 16 October).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

“Devastating” plans for a house of multiple occupancy in Sidcup have been approved despite pleas by residents.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The pub industry in Bexley, worth around £51million, could take a hit if beer duty is raised as expected in the chancellor’s budget today (Tuesday, October 16), Britain’s Beer Alliance has warned.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A cyclist who died after being hit by a lorry in Erith has been formally identified, as police officers appeal for witnesses to the tragic incident to come forward.

Monday, October 15, 2018

New proposals for Hall Place and Gardens will be discussed in next week’s Places Overview and Scrutiny Committee (October 16).

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The new UK and Ireland tour of Let It Be will be arriving at the Orchard Theatre on Monday, October 15.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A number of warrants have been executed this morning (Wednesday, October 10) in Abbey Wood as part of a proactive operation targeting drugs and associated criminality.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24