‘Career criminal’ has van crushed after theft spree

Stock picture of a police officer on the beat to go with story about levels of fitness among Lancashire police officers
Stock picture of a police officer on the beat to go with story about levels of fitness among Lancashire police officers
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A van driver who used his white Ford Transit to commit crime in Dacorum has had the vehicle crushed, said police today (Tuesday, April 26).

Bobby Cousins, 33, used the van to travel around and commit a string of fuel thefts and shoplifting offences across the county between April and October last year.

In the space of two days, Cousins stole items from the Spar shop in Leverstock Green Road, Hemel Hempstead.

On October 11, Cousins stole £15 worth of Celebration chocolates and on October 13, he stole six tubs of Quality Streets.

Cousins also committed fuel thefts and shoplifting offences in Harpenden, Potters Bar, St Albans and Wheathampstead.

Cousins, of Highview Gardens in Potters Bar appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court last month and had his van confiscated and crushed on court orders following recommendation from police.

“Having a vehicle seized and crushed is unusual but given the nature of Cousins’ offending and the fact that he used his van to commit all of his crime, we were able to present enough evidence to the court to take away his only asset,” said St Albans Chief Inspector Ken Townsend.

“It was very satisfying holding his number plate, knowing that he won’t be able to use this vehicle to commit crime or anti-social behaviour again.”

CI Townsend continued: “Cousins is a career criminal and has been a thorn in our side for a number of years.

“He has committed anti-social crime and been a nuisance in St Albans as well as committing crimes in Hertsmere and Dacorum.

“Between April and October 2015, Cousins has been involved in numerous thefts of fuel and shopliftings.

“Although many of his offences represented relatively low values, this did not prevent the constabulary successfully applying for the destruction order.

“We won’t hesitate to seize and crush vehicles in the future that are used to commit crime, including environmental crimes like fly-tipping.

“Is it really worth losing your vehicle?”

As well as having his van taken away, Cousins is also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving license for 12 months, has to pay £514.59 (including £300 costs) and has been put on a six month drug rehabilitation treatment programme.