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Vain thieves who took 35 cars worth 500,000 in 40-day crime spree caught after posing for pictures in stolen vehicles
Sam Holmes, 22, and David Leadbeater, 23, from Eltham, South London pleaded guilty to burglaries
Police said they 'slipped up in every way possible' by leaving breadcrumb trail of evidence
Stole a range of high-end cars including BMWs Audis and Mercedes' from driveways in Kent and Surrey
12:08 GMT, 21 April 2013
17:19 GMT, 21 April 2013
Two thieves unwittingly left a trail of evidence for their own arrest by posing for pictures in cars they had stolen.
Sam Holmes, 22, and David Leadbeater, 23, stole 35 cars worth more than 500,000 from driveways in Kent and Surrey.
Despite changing the cars' number plates to avoid detection, the burglars documented their 40-day spree by taking pictures of stolen BMWs and Audis on their mobile phones.
Holmes and Leadbeater pose together in a car. Police said, 'They may have seen themselves as successful criminals but they left an incredible trail of evidence'
Holmes, (left) Leadbeater, (right) face charges of consipracy to commit 43 burglaries and attempted burglaries. They will be sentenced later this week
In one picture, Leadbeater is at the wheel of a stolen 25,000 Ford Focus ST.
He is seen to boast about selling the vehicles by posing with a wad of cash, believed to be around 5,000.
Holmes and Leadbeater, both of Eltham, south London stole keys to cars from their owner's homes, drove off and sold the vehicles on in London.
Officers from the Kent and Essex
Serious Crime Directorate said the thieves were 'incompetent' and 'slipped
up in every way possible'.
Maidstone Crown Court have heard how Leadbeater burgled 43 homes between May 25 and July 4 last year, stealing a total of 35 cars.
Leadbeater pictured sitting at the wheel of a 25,000 Ford focus ST. The pair targeted owners of high-end cars
David Leadbeater cockily stares into the camera holding a wad of 20 notes. The pair sold stolen cars to contacts in London
Holmes and Leadbeater changed the number plates on the stolen cars, to avoid detection by the police. Leadbeater was pulled over by officers in a stolen Mini Cooper with false number plates in Southend, Essex last July
The court heard how officers pulled over 23-year-old Leadbeater in a stolen Mini Cooper with false number plates in Southend, Essex last July.
When they searched his mobile phone they found a number of photos of him sitting in the stolen cars.
Holmes was arrested after police found photos of him in a stolen Mini Cooper on his mobile phone.
The court heard how both men had been disqualified from driving and that the majority of the cars stolen had now been recovered.
The court was also shown a photo of the pair posing together in a stolen motor, with Leadbeater wearing a pair of sunglasses and Holmes in a hoodie.
The pair initially denied all the offences, but faced with the overwhelming evidence against them – much of which they provided themselves through mobile phone potographs – they pleaded guilty to the burglaries last Friday.
The pair stole luxury cars including Mini Coopers, Audis, Mercedes and BMWs. The court heard how both men had been disqualified from driving
The pair each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit 43 burglaries and attempted burglaries and will be sentenced later this week.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Adrian Grew said: 'Both Holmes and Leadbeater have shown no remorse for their crimes despite overwhelming evidence being found by police during this investigation.
'They may have seen themselves as successful criminals but they left an incredible trail of evidence and slipped up in every way possible – not only were they incompetent, but they have no morals either.'