Dagenham 'Del Boy' flogged firefighters' gear on eBay

A REAL life Del Boy whose business profited from selling stolen firefighters tools has been jailed. Mark Lotter pocketed up to �150,000 flogging pinched industrial equipment on internet auction site eBay. The dodgy dealer s company name even mimicked T

A REAL life "Del Boy" whose business profited from selling stolen firefighters' tools has been jailed.

Mark Lotter pocketed up to �150,000 flogging pinched industrial equipment on internet auction site eBay.

The dodgy dealer's company name even mimicked Trotters Independent Traders, Del Boy's company in the classic TV comedy series Only Fools & Horses, starring David Jason.

Lotter, 44, of Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, and his wife Tracey, 35, profited from selling stolen hydraulic cutters, life-saving tools used by the fire brigade to free people trapped inside cars in road accidents.

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Lotter was jailed for three and a half years but his wife, who helped him run the business, was spared prison.

The mum-of-four had her one-year jail term suspended for two years after the couple admitted a string of charges at Snaresbrook Crown Court on October 15.

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She must carry out 150 hours' unpaid work and comply with a two-year supervision order in the community.

It is thought the Lotters made a minimum profit of �150,000 from their 14-month scam

with his company, Lotters Independent Traders, investigators discovered.

Officer Clive Robinson spotted stolen equipment being sold by the Lotters on eBay and posed as a buyer to trap the crooks.

Life-saving cutters, stolen from Leigh-on-Sea fire station in Essex, were later recovered.

The Lotters stored stolen goods at their house and in lockup storage units off the A13, Dagenham.

Equipment worth thousands of pounds, including mini diggers, drills, chainsaws, nail guns and hedge trimmers, were found at the couple's home.

The tools were stolen from building sites, vans and merchants by thieves who have never been traced.

Last year an open day was held at Eastbury Comprehensive School, Hulse Avenue, Barking, where rightful owners were able to reclaim their property.

Police reunited Adrian Mitchell, of Costain Construction, with surveying equipment worth more than �8,000 and Tim Murphy got his tile cutters back, stolen from his Millcot Tools store, Danbury, Chelmsford, in May 2007.

Last week Mark Lotter also admitted possessing prohibited weapons after two CS gas canisters and a mace spray were found at his home.

The couple admitted 12 counts of acquiring criminal property and two counts of transferring criminal property.

DS Tom Rashbrook, DC Steve Jewell and DC Dawn Shaw worked to bring them to justice.

DCI Ellie O'Connor said: "We are delighted with the sentences handed down.

"Individuals who choose to handle stolen goods are enabling the crime of theft and are as guilty as the thief.

"I will continue to use all of my available resources in order to catch burglars and stolen property handlers and place them before the courts.

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