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GPS on stolen quad bike helped to snare thief

By Court Reporter

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A Moray man who stole a six berth caravan and a quad bike with a total value of £27,000 will be sentenced next month.

John McPhee, of Innes Court, Lhanbryde, appeared by video link at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitted theft and theft by opening a lockfast place.

The offences occurred on February 15, 2020 and May 22, 2020.

Fiscal depute Martina Eastwood told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that the 40 year old used an angle grinder to cut a lock off the towbar of the caravan. It had been stored in a compound in Grantown on Spey.

Police stopped McPhee's Ford Transit van which was towing the caravan on the A9 near Kincraig and arrested him.

Mrs Eastwood then told the court how a GPS tracker on the £7,000 quad bike helped police arrest McPhee. But she said that although the quad bike was taken to an industrial estate in Kirkcaldy, police were unable to recover it.

The bike had been stolen from a storage compound in Lossiemouth which was broken into by McPhee. Officers matched CCTV to the route taken by the quad bike and McPhee's van was seen on exactly the same route.

Sentence was deferred until March 1 for a background report and McPhee was released on bail.

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