South East Wales

Crimewatch car con pair Stephen Probert and Vicky Banks sentenced

Stephen Probert Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Stephen Probert was jailed for one year and eight months after admitting conspiracy to steal motor vehicles

A couple involved in a gang which stole £250,000 in cars have been convicted after an appeal to track them down was featured on TV's Crimewatch programme.

Stephen Probert, 40, and Vicky Banks, 31, both from Caerphilly county, were on the run for two years before the BBC TV appeal helped police to catch them.

They posed as a couple hoping to buy a new car before stealing over 25 high-value vehicles.

They and other gang members have been sentenced at Newport Crown Court.

Cars, including an Audi A3 and a Volkswagen Golf, both worth £10,000, were stolen around Britain between June 2013 and October 2014.

'Devious and manipulative'

Four of Probert's criminal gang were arrested, but ringleader Probert and Banks, both from Blackwood, went on the run.

Tip-offs from the public helped officers apprehend the couple, who were living in Cyprus and travelling back to Wales.

Probert pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and was jailed for one years and eight months.

Banks was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Probert was already serving 16 years for conspiracy to steal motor cars and and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Judge David Wynn Morgan called him "a devious and manipulative criminal".

Gang members Keri Davies, 31, of Risca, and Anthony Woodington, 40, of Maerdy, were jailed for eight months.

Neil Roberts, 33, of Trebanog, and Kelly Stephens, 32, from Risca, were each given a one year community order.

Samantha Wright, 28, of Mountain Ash, was bailed for a pre-sentence hearing.

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