Parked up Royal Mail van raided by North Wales thieves on crime spree

A 32-year-old man from Wrexham has been jailed for his part in thefts in Chester and North Wales - including raiding a Royal Mail van. Jonathan Higgins from Langdale Avenue, Rhostyllen appeared at Chester Magistrates on May 24 to be sentenced after pleading guilty to theft by finding, two counts of theft from a vehicle and one count of theft from a shop.

Higgins was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment and another six weeks for breach of a suspended sentence. The theft related to a shoplifting offence at Nisa in New High Street in Ruabon on 17 February this year where Higgins entered the store and stole several packs of steaks before hiding them in his jacket. He then left the store without paying for any goods.

A second man, Thomas Nathan Edwards, 29, from Ffordd Offa, Rhosllanerchrugog appeared at Chester Magistrates on 30 May to be sentenced for his part in these offences. Edwards was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work, £1597.33 compensation, victim surcharge of £114, £85 court costs for the tool theft and £483 fine, £193 surcharge, £120 court costs for the theft from the Royal Mail Van.

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The charges relate to their spree on 28 November 2023 when Edwards and Higgins both attended the Chester area in Edwards' work van. They travelled to the Blacon area and whilst on Nevin Road, Chester they forced entry into a Royal Mail van and stole a large quantity of parcels and Royal Mail clothing from inside the vehicle.

They then drove across Chester to Roman Crescent, Wrexham Road where Higgins used a Royal Mail Post Bag as a disguise and stole a joiner’s power tools that were left on a driveway while he was working. The pair fled the scene in Edwards' vehicle.

The pair acted together with Edwards acting as Higgins' getaway driver. The parcels and tools stolen were never recovered.

The pair were identified via mobile phone footage, CCTV and doorbell footage of the incidents. Officers attended Edwards' address the day following the thefts. His vehicle was seized and clothing from the Royal Mail van were recovered inside his vehicle. He subsequently handed himself in to police the following day.

Higgins remained unidentified for several months until a local North Wales PCSO spotted a media appeal displaying Higgins' image. Recognising him from previous incidents he provided his identity to Chester officers who dealt with Higgins.

PC James Wright of Chester Proactive Team said: “This goes to show the value of CCTV and doorbell footage in catching thieves in the act. In this case someone filmed them stealing the items from the Royal Mail van - they were literally caught red handed.

“My message to opportunist thieves who think they can come to Chester to steal is that you will be caught, and you will be brought to justice.”

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