Cardiff Crown Court was told the men, from Cheshire and Liverpool, targeted the Burton’s factory at Cwmbran, Gwent on June 17 last year.
The abandoned the trailer – worth about £10,000 – was later recovered but not the biscuits, which were valued at about £20,000.
Kieron Price, Stephen Burrows, Aaron Thomas, Anthony Edgerton and Paul Price admitted charges relating to the biscuit theft and received jail terms ranging from 44 to 16 months.
‘Would you like a biscuit?’
One of the five reportedly shouted to the court during sentencing: “Would you like a biscuit?”
It is understood Edgerton and Price stole a lorry tractor in Kent worth £15,000 and used it to take an articulated trailer containing 2,000 cases of Carling lager, worth £43,000. The lager has not been recovered.
The two were then joined by the other men who abandoned the trailer before travelling to Cwmbran to target the Burton’s Food factory.
Claimed to be a DHL delivery driver
One of the men claimed to be a DHL delivery driver who had been instructed to take a load to Liverpool, according to BBC News.
The tractor and trailer were then driven off the premises without stopping to hand over paperwork, which alerted Burton’s to the theft.
Detective sergeant Stuart Crocker said; “These defendants were part of an organised crime group from Liverpool who travelled to Gwent to target a local business.
“Gwent Police undertook a thorough inquiry and officers liaised with other forces, including Merseyside and British Transport Police, to gather evidence. Due to the strength of the case compiled, all five defendants have pleaded guilty today.
“I hope this case and the sentences given demonstrate to anyone involved in criminal activity that if they choose to commit offences in Gwent they will be pursued and brought to justice.”
Big Video Debate on food crime at Foodex
Food and drink crime – its prevention and detection – will take fall under the spotlight at the Food Manufacture Group’s Big Video Debate at the Foodex trade event on Monday April 18, between 14.00 and 15.00.
Taking part in the videoed panel discussion will be:
- Andy Morling, head of the Food Standards Agency’s Food Crime Unit
- Lisa Jack, food fraud specialist professor in accounting at Portsmouth University
- Professor Tony Hines, director of global regulatory services and crisis management, Leatherhead Food Research
The panel debate – Food and drink fraud: protecting your supply chains – probe how food and drink manufacturers can protect their business from criminal activity. Show-goers will be able to put a question to our expert panel during the debate. Alternatively you can submit a question about food and drink crime in advance by email.
Two other Big Video Debates are taking place at the show: one on campylobacter between 11.00 and 12.00 on Monday April 18 and one on skills on Tuesday April 19 between 11.30 and 12.30.
Meanwhile, Foodex 2016 – the premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging, ingredients and logistics industries – will take place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, between April 18–20.