West Yorkshire teenagers cut hole in HGV and stole £30,000 of chewing gum as driver slept

Two West Yorkshire teenagers have admitted stealing £30,000 worth of chewing gum after making a hole in the side of a truck while its unsuspecting driver slept.

By SWNS reporter
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:30 pm

Ellis Benecke, 19, and Keon Sanderson, 18, stole the Wrigley's gum on 4 May when they broke into an HGV at the M5 Gloucester services.

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The pair, from West Yorkshire, also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis when they appeared at Cirencester Courthouse this week.

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Ellis Benecke, 19, and Keon Sanderson, 18, cut a hole in the side of an HGV before stealing chewing gum worth £30,000.

They were released on bail and are due to be sentenced on 19 July.

Police initially estimated the value of the stolen chewing gum to be worth £120,000 but prosecutor Nicola Wood said it was about £30,000.

Officers attended the services when they received a report of two men taking items from an HGV and loading them into a lorry before driving off.

The pair made a hole in the side of the truck and unloaded the pallets into their own transport, all while the unsuspecting driver slept, a hearing at Gloucester Crown Court in May was told.

Chewing gum is used as currency in some countries, the court previously heard.

Benecke, of Aysgarth Road, Leeds, and Sanderson, of Fieldhead Parade, Birstall, Batley, were pursued by police along the motorway before abandoning their vehicle on the A40 Golden Valley bypass.

The pair were pursued on foot by police dog Tekla and were subsequently arrested.

Sanderson has also been charged with being suspected of driving a vehicle and failing to provide a breath test or specimen for analysis.

He is due to enter a plea for the offence when he is sentenced for the theft in July.

Prosecutor Nicola Wood said: "Both defendants are of relatively good character.

"Sanderson has no previous criminal convictions and Benecke has just one driving-related conviction."