TWO brothers have been jailed after an investigation into the sale of stolen property on trading website Gumtree.
Anthony and Damian Waddell appeared at Newcastle Crown Court for sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of conversion of criminal property by advertising and selling stolen property online.
It follows a long-term investigation by North Shields neighbourhood policing team into the wholesale disposal of stolen bikes and power tools via the Gumtree website.
The offences took place between January 12 and February 10, 2012 and September 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013.
Anthony Waddell also had three thefts from motor vehicle and a burglary taken into consideration by the court, and was also sentenced for a theft of a bike from Northumbria University City West Campus in September 2013.
The 26-year-old, of Howdon Road, North Shields was jailed for 30 months, and Damian, 25, of Raby Street, Byker, Newcastle, was jailed for 15 months.
Police linked the brothers to a number of Gumtree accounts, which they used to advertise and subsequently sell on large amounts of stolen property.
Officers worked closely with law enforcement liaison officers at Gumtree and identified the pair sold stolen property online from 31 crimes.
These includes burglaries and thefts from cars which happened in South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Newcastle. The value of the property stolen amounted to £38,748.
Bikes, power tools, gardening equipment, DJ equipment, sat navs and sunglasses were among the stolen items advertised online.
The case was investigated by neighbourhood beat managers Pcs Iain Grant and Carly Zawodzinski.
Pc Grant said: “The Waddell brothers made a profit from the misery of others, selling stolen property from crimes which took place across the force area.
“The sentences passed send out a message to those who risk buying or selling stolen property online - that we actively monitor sales websites and regularly check online for stolen property.
“Always ask questions from online sellers to check that property advertised online is legitimate. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Pc Zawodzinski added: “I’d like to thank all the victims involved in this case for their assistance and support in bringing these convictions after a 16-month investigation.
“During our investigation Anthony and Damian showed a complete disregard for the 31 victims of crime affected by their actions in selling on their stolen property for personal gain.
“This included several children and those suffering from disabilities. We welcome the sentences passed by the court.”