Three men have been sentenced for carrying out a spree of violent robberies, thanks to Basildon’s investigating officers and Sandon’s Dog Unit.
A fourth person, a teenager, has also plead guilty to robbery and will be sentenced at a later date.
In the evening of Friday 11 February 2022, a spree of violent robberies were carried out near to Church Hill, Basildon.
Over a 2-hour period, a total of four teenagers and one man were threatened, assaulted and robbed of their belongings. A white van was used to both injure the victims and as transport by the suspects.
Police Dog (PD) Diesel and his handler Police Sergeant Jamie Edwards, of Sandon’s Dog Unit at the time, were carrying out patrols in the area that evening.
After hearing reports of the incident, PS Edwards spotted a van that matched the description of the vehicle used. Following a short pursuit, the driver and passengers decamped the van and attempted to flee on foot.
PD Diesel, fuelled by catching criminals, helped PS Edwards quickly detain a teenager. He was wearing a coat stolen during one of the robberies.
Two other men were shortly arrested by other officers on scene and the majority of the stolen items were recovered in the back of the van.
A fourth man, Kevin Price, avoided arrest that day but analysis by Basildon’s CID of a mobile phone used during the robberies, placed him at the scene.
All four were charged and plead guilty to their parts in the robberies.
On Thursday 30 March, two of the men appeared at Basildon Crown Court to be sentenced for four counts of robbery each.
Kevin Price, 22, of Great Gregorie, Basildon, was sentenced to 9 years and 3 months and Joseph Price, 26, of Lodge Lane, Grays, was sentenced to 8 years.
Martin Price, 20, of Lodge Lane, Grays, previously plead guilty to handling stolen goods and was handed a 2-year community order at the same court on 6 March.
A 16-year-old boy, who also plead guilty to four counts of robbery, is due to be sentenced at youth court on a later date.
"They had no other option but to plead guilty to their crimes."
Investigating Officer PC Ollie Fraser, of Basildon CID, said:
“It’s clear that this group set out to target young and vulnerable people in the area. “They used violence and intimidation to steal belongings and had no care for the trauma they’d inflict both physically and mentally. “They are dangerous individuals and the evidence secured by every officer and staff member involved in this case meant that they had no other option but to plead guilty to their crimes. “But the praise should really sit with the victims and their local community. “These were very violent robberies and the victims have shown incredible bravery for helping us and following it through. “I’d also like to thank the members of the public who stepped in to support the victims in their time of need and who called us for help. I know you will have brought significant comfort in an incredibly distressing situation.”