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.

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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