Two men have been jailed in connection with €460,000 worth of stolen car parts recovered by An Garda Síochána.
John Ayton (38), of Longwood, Co Meath has received a three-year prison sentence, while Andrew Bailey (30), from Co Monaghan also received a three-year sentence but with the final year suspended.
Both men, who started training as mechanics at the age of 16, have been jailed for their involvement in the operation of two illegal ‘chop shops’, where stolen vehicles were being brought before being dismantled and the car parts sold on.
Garda investigations established that the stolen vehicles were being brought to a chop shop in Stoneyford, Co Meath, where they were dismantled and then moved to another rented facility near Straffan, Co Kildare, where the car parts were stored and sold on.
The chop shops were being operated between July 2017 and October 2018, with Gardaí identifying a total of 23 victims.
One of these victims has since passed away while another didn’t suffer financial loss. The remaining 21 suffered a combined financial loss of €35,000, while insurance companies suffered losses of €425,000, Trim Circuit Court heard.
Gardaí raided the chop shops in October 2018 following a major investigation by the Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit (SMVIU) and the national anti-burglary unit.
Ayton pleaded guilty to 10 out of 33 charges brought against him, while Bailey pleaded guilty to nine out of 32 charges.