Thief rams police car with wagon in pursuit

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A BURGLAR who rammed a police car with a cement mixer near Scarborough during a gang raid has been convicted.

Steven Lee Neasham was part of a group of raiders who targeted industrial estates and vehicle depots across the north of England between October last year and January.

York Crown Court heard the gang struck the police car with the mixer in Staxton during a desperate attempt to evade capture.

A jury took just ten minutes to convict Neasham, of no fixed abode, after being told officers managed to round up three members of the gang hours later.

Neasham accused police in court of “stitching him up” by planting an incriminating mobile phone on him.

They heard how he signed a custody report that listed his possessions and included the mobile phone.

The phone had been used repeatedly by a member of the gang during several of the raids.

Neasham is now awaiting sentence for that and three other burglaries in the Newcastle area which he admitted before his trial.

Detective Constable Mike Avison, from York CID, said: “He was part of a structured team who sought to co-ordinate and orchestrate offences of burglary and theft against small businesses, causing them great expense and inconvenience.

“This was across three counties, North Yorkshire, Northumbria and Humberside, which presented a complex and challenging investigation for police.”