Smirking duo James Drydale and Joshua Greaves filmed themselves on motorbikes they stole from Scarborough homes

Two smirking motorcycle thieves filmed themselves riding a stolen bike during a police chase.

Sunday, 13th September 2020, 7:55 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th September 2020, 7:58 pm

James Drydale and Joshua Greaves were fleeing from police after stealing thousands of pounds’ worth of motorbikes from properties in Scarborough.

The brazen thieves were clearly enjoying themselves as Greaves, riding pillion, whipped out his mobile phone and filmed the scenes for posterity, York Crown Court heard.

But ultimately the laugh was on them after they were arrested and hauled into custody, where Greaves was so belligerent that officers had to abort the interview.

Greaves, left, and Drydale

During the police chase, Greaves, 23, fell off the motorbike after officers laid a ‘stinger’ on the road, said prosecutor Philip Standfast.

Both men were charged with conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and appeared for sentence via video link on Friday after pleading guilty to the offence.

The court heard that over a two-week period in February, the prolific thieves stole £11,813 of vehicles including motorbikes, mopeds and pedal cycles.

On the night before the police pursuit, they stole motorbikes worth more than £5,000 from three properties in Scarborough, including a £1,200 moped from a property in Eden Drive, a £1,500 Honda from an address in Asquith Avenue and a £2,500 Suzuki K100 from another address in the same area which was never recovered.

The following day, February 21, an officer spotted them on one of the motorbikes in Springhill Lane. During the ensuing, “lengthy” police chase, Drydale, 25, turned into a “forest area” where the officer lost sight of them.

“Greaves was filming the chase on his mobile,” said Mr Standfast.

As police closed in on them, a ‘stinger’ device was laid across the road to stop the motorcycle in its tracks. Greaves fell off the bike as it rode over the ‘stinger’, but Drydale rode on.

Greaves was arrested and police seized two mobiles and two screwdrivers used in the thefts.

The shameless duo had the audacity to take pictures of themselves on two of the stolen bikes. The images, among others, were found on the mobile seized from Greaves.

The stolen vehicles included over £5,000 of motorbikes and bicycles taken from a man’s garage in Sandybed Crescent in the early hours of February 10. These were later recovered after being dumped by the thieves.

Five days later, they broke into another garage and stole a man’s whisky collection under cover of darkness, before stealing a £1,400 Honda 750 in Candler Street.

They drove out to Whitby on the bike, posing for pictures along the way. The bike was recovered on the outskirts of the town.

While being quizzed by police the day after his arrest, Greaves was “making threats towards the officers”.

Drydale, of Queen Street, Scarborough, was arrested and interviewed four days later but was uncooperative.

Both men had extensive criminal records. Drydale had 18 previous convictions for 33 offences including theft, violence, taking vehicles without the owner’s consent, handling stolen goods, criminal damage and drug supply.

Greaves had 33 previous convictions for offences including burglary, violence and robbery.

They had both served previous prison sentences and had acted in tandem before, including one incident in the recent past when they broke into a property in Scarborough, picked up a knife, then scarpered when the owners appeared.

At the time of the motorcycle thefts, Drydale was subject to two conditional discharges for drug offences. One of those court orders was imposed on February 13 – partway through the thieving spree.

Nick Peacock, for Greaves, said he was “desperate” for money at the time as he had no work nor income and nowhere to stay.

Greaves had been doing courses while on prison remand – including, “ironically”, a bicycle maintenance course.

Susannah Proctor, for Drydale, said her client, a painter and decorator, had battled drug addiction and had had a terrible time of it while remanded in Doncaster Prison.

Judge Simon Hickey described the duo’s offending as a “targeted (thieving) campaign…in the cover of darkness”.

He upbraided the thieves for causing a “great deal of inconvenience and anguish” to the victims and slammed Greaves for being “so violent (in custody following arrest) that you couldn’t be interviewed”.

Greaves - from Scarborough, but of no fixed address - was given a 40-month jail sentence. Drydale was jailed for three years and five months.

Both men will serve half of their sentences behind bars before being released on prison licence.