A 47-year-old man from Crewe who grew cannabis in his loft and handled thousands of pounds worth of stolen goods is behind bars.
John Lloyd from Broad Street in Crewe was found guilty by a jury of five counts of handling stolen goods at an earlier hearing. He also pleaded guilty to producing cannabis for personal use.
He was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on 26 June 2012 to 12 months in prison. An order was also made for the forfeiture and destruction of cannabis plants and equipment found in his loft last year by police.
DC Kev Williams said: "Lloyd was initially arrested for theft of a £2,000 mountain bike from the roof rack of a car in Goddard Street in Crewe. This came about after the victim saw his bike, which he had reported to police as stolen on 29 April 2011, for sale on eBay and informed us."
The owner put a bid in on his own bike and was successful. He arranged with Lloyd to pick up the bike, then phoned police and told them that he had arranged to pick up the bike from an address in Crewe.
Detectives from the burglary unit went to the address posing as the eBay buyer.
Once the bike was seen by officers as the one stolen from the roof rack, officers arrested Lloyd. They then searched his house and recovered over £3,000 worth of high value walking jackets and 24 Radley purses.
When the loft was searched five cannabis plants were found growing in a tent with lights and a vent. A further five were found in a wardrobe.
Officers began an investigation to trace the owners of the items seized from Lloyd and traced them back to Cheshire Oaks, and Bridgemere Garden World. Ten of the jackets and all of the Radley purses were stolen from Cheshire Oaks.
DC Williams said: "This was a great result and shows how working with the public we were able to catch a thief red handed trying to sell a stolen bike. This then led us to an even bigger haul which we were able to seize.
"This highlights the importance of people working with police to tackle crime in their community."