Thieves Jailed For Car Thefts

Matthew Maynard and Kevin Criddle

Men targeted surfers' vehicles

Two Swansea men who targeted surfers' cars throughout the Summer 2015 have been jailed.

Matthew Maynard, 31, from Swansea was jailed for 26 months after pleading guilty to two counts of theft of a motor vehicle and being in carried in a stolen vehicle.

Kevin Criddle, 45, from Swansea who pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of a motor vehicle was sentenced to 16 months. 

A third man, Christopher Hanney, 31, from Swansea received a nine-month suspended sentence, 200 hours unpaid work and three month curfew for possession of criminal property. 

Criddle and Maynard started their spate of car thefts on August 1st, when they took the keys to a Hyundai which were left in an unattended bag on Rest Bay.

Officers carried out extensive CCTV enquires, which identified Criddle and Maynard getting out of the stolen Hyundai with a fast food box, which was traced to a nearby fast food restaurant.

The duo struck again, this time on September 13th, when they stole a Ford Fiesta after the keys were left in a safe box attached to the vehicle parked in the Hi-Tide. Five days later they stole another Ford Fiesta this time after the keys were left in an unattended bag on Rest Bay. 

Late September, officers were alerted that the suspects were back in Porthcawl, which resulted in Criddle making off from officers before being arrested and sentenced to 14 months for dangerous driving and a number of other driving offences.

Matthew Maynard and Christopher Hanney were arrested after officers executed a search warrant at an address in Swansea in November 2015, an excess of £9,000 was also recovered from the property. 

Detective Sergeant Julian Kerslake said: "Surfers and other sea lovers were targeted by Maynard and Criddle as they headed into the water and left personal belongings and valuables unattended.

"Every year, there is a spike in the number of crimes reported on beaches in Porthcawl.

"The message is simple, don't be tempted to leave keys and other valuables unattended while you go in the sea. Small bags that can be carried or attached to the owner at all times, even when in the water, are a great idea for keeping keys and some other belongings safe." 

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