Thieves caught by selling loot on eBay

A QUICK thinking Huntingdon businessman who had thousands of pounds worth of equipment stolen helped catch the thieves after he saw his goods advertised on eBay. The stolen items were specially-made paramotors, which are strapped to the backs of paraglid

A QUICK thinking Huntingdon businessman who had thousands of pounds worth of equipment stolen helped catch the thieves after he saw his goods advertised on eBay.

The stolen items were specially-made paramotors, which are strapped to the backs of paragliders.

Geoff Soden of Paramotors UK, based in Alconbury, had been exhibiting at the NEC in Birmingham when the Sky 100 paramotor and the SMN 130 paramotor worth a combined value of £8,000 were stolen.

The motors had been imported from Italy especially for the show. A month after the theft, Mr Soden of Ash Close noticed the motors on the internet auction site eBay.


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Mr Soden who has been teaching people to fly for 13 years, said bidding on one of the items had started at £2,000.

He said: "As soon as I read the description on eBay, alarm bells started ringing in my ears. I don't think the thieves knew exactly how valuable or rare these motors were or they wouldn't have put them on eBay for all to see."

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When Mr Soden enquired about the objects, the thieves sent him pictures of the motors and gave him a genuine email address and telephone number, which he passed on to Solihull Police. He added: "They really signed their own arrest warrant by giving me their name and address."

The theft is believed to have halted manufacturing at the Fly Castle Luccio plant in Italy by four months because one of the motors was a prototype. Stephen Cresser, 46 and Donald Bennett, 43 both from Marston Green, Solihull who had been working as sub contractors at the NEC at the time of theft pleaded guilty to the offence and were fined £500.

Sgt Charlie Cain from Solihull crime team said: "Geoff stumbled across the items on eBay and informed us. Within five hours we were able to track down an address and secure search warrants. It might have taken us longer to track down the culprits without the information provided by Geoff. We do police the eBay on a regular basis but the majority of goods are legitimate, you just have to beware.

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