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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Jessica Murray Midlands correspondent

Man facing jail over theft of almost 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs

Box of Cadbury creme eggs
West Mercia police described the incident as an ‘eggs-travagent theft’ in a series of tweets on Monday. Photograph: Radharc Images/Alamy

A chocolate thief is facing jail after admitting he stole almost 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs in a heist worth more than £31,000.

Joby Pool, 32, dubbed “the Easter bunny” by police, used a stolen lorry cab to make off with chocolate after breaking into a Telford industrial unit with a metal grinder on Saturday.

He is expected to be jailed for about two years next month, after pleading guilty to theft and criminal damage.

Opening the facts of the case on Tuesday, prosecutor Owen Beale told Kidderminster magistrates court: “I don’t know if you have seen the news recently – there was a load that was stolen and on the trailer was Cadbury’s products, a large number of Creme Eggs.”

He said Pool, a self-employed ground worker, used a tractor unit that had been stolen in the Yorkshire area in October to tow away the trailer full of chocolate, which was then driven away, eventually reaching the northbound M42.

Pool was spotted by police and “gave up at junction 11 and walked towards the police with his hands up. He was arrested and the load was recovered”.

“This clearly wasn’t spur-of-the-moment offending, if I can put it like that, because he had taken with him a tractor unit and he had to know that the load was there in the first place,” said Beale.

Magistrates were told Pool, from West Yorkshire, was previously convicted of theft, handling stolen goods and driving while disqualified in 2019.

Beale said: “This is clearly an organised criminal matter. You don’t just happen to learn about a trailer with that kind of value being available.”

Defence solicitor John McMillan, told the court that Pool understood a substantial sentence was likely.

“He stopped the vehicle when he realised he was being followed. Everything stolen had been recovered and that will no doubt assist the owners of the various items that have been taken,” he said.

“There has been no interference with the food products that were taken – they will be in a condition that they can go back on the shelves.”

In a series of tweets on Monday, West Mercia police described the incident as an “eggs-travagent theft” of a “chocolate collection box”.

“Shortly after the theft a vehicle, presumably purporting to be the Easter bunny, was stopped northbound on the M42 and a man was arrested on suspicion of theft,” they said.

Pool will be sentenced at Shrewsbury crown court on 14 March.

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