A Hove man wanted as part of a long-running investigation into vehicle thefts has pleaded guilty to multiple offences.
Robert Thompson, 35, of Church Road in Hove, admitted to receiving stolen goods, fraudulently using registration marks and possession of a Class A drug (cocaine) after being arrested by officers from the Specialist Enforcement Unit (SEU) on January 13.
On January 6, 2021, Thompson was found behind the wheel of a black Range Rover Velar which was driving under a false registration plate and later revealed to have been stolen from a property in West Drayton in December, 2020.
GPS data on Thompson’s phone showed he was in the West Drayton area on the day of the theft and the false registration plate he was using was linked to a vehicle stolen from Hove in August, 2020.
He was released under investigation while the enquiry continued, but 12 months later, on January 13, 2022, a stolen Citroen Nemo van with false registration plates was found parked in front of Thompson’s home.
A search of his property by a dog unit and Response officers found the keys inside, as well as a quantity of cocaine. Thompson was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods, fraudulently using registration marks and possession of a Class A drug (cocaine).
DNA and fingerprint evidence also linked him to a BMW stolen from Worthing in June, 2020, and a Range Rover stolen from Lancing the following August.
The stolen vehicles had a total value of more than £75,000.
At Lewes Crown Court on February 14, Thompson pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods and the registration offence, having admitted possession of a Class A drug on January 15.
He is due to be sentenced at a court to be confirmed on Thursday, March 17.
Investigating officer DS Tom Duffy said: “Robert Thompson has a proven track record of vehicle theft over a number of years, which has had a significant impact on his victims.
“This conviction is the result of some incredible teamwork, from SEU and Response officers who brought him into custody, to the investigators who gathered the evidence that tied Thompson to several offences over more than two years.
“I would like to thank the victims and everybody involved in this case for helping to bring him to justice.”