Lancashire rural burglary ringleader who boasted he would leave 'several holes in the hall' before retiring must pay back ill gotten gains

The ringleader of a £1m theft spree that caused misery for rural Lancashire communities has been ordered to pay back more than £18,000 of his ill gotten gains.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:30 pm

Brian Thexton, 43, and his brother Ronald Thexton, 36, both of Park Road, Bishop Auckland, spearheaded a criminal plot between April and September 2018 to target beauty spots, plant hire businesses and secluded village cash machines, stealing cars, tools, a caravan, jewellery and money.

The pair are serving jail terms imposed last February over their roles in the crime spree, and were previously handed Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPOS) by a judge.

The gang stole just under £6,000 from a cash machine in Carnforth, causing around £170,000 worth of damage in the process, but the criminals were interrupted by police and ended up fleeing, leaving cash piled in the road.

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Brian Thexton, left, and Ronald Thexton, right

Lancashire officers launched Operation Irwell in Durham to arrest several members of the gang.

Brian Thexton is now serving nine and a half years for two counts of conspiracy to burgle a dwelling in Bolton-le-Sands and three counts of conspiracy to steal, including a theft from a Spar shop in Hambleton, near Blackpool.

Ronald Thexton is serving five years 10 months for three counts of conspiracy to burgle a dwelling and three counts of conspiracy to steal.

His crimes included theft of trailers and tools worth £12,800 from a business in Goosnargh, theft of a log splitter worth £10,000 from a business in Silverdale, theft of a £14,000 car from a house in Slyne, Lancaster, theft of a safe from a house in Nateby, and theft of a car, designer handbag and clothes worth almost £64,000, from a house in Halton.

One of the many crimes the gang committed

During a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Preston Crown Court, Brian Thexton was found by Judge Philip Parry to have benefitted from his criminal activity to the tune of £23,689.30.

The court heard he had £18,370.78 in realisable assets available to seize and an order was made for that amount.

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