Nasal spray gang still on the run after truck raid

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A GANG of thieves made off with more than 20,000 sprays used to treat blocked noses, a court heard.

The robbers attacked a lorry driver sleeping in his cab waiting for an industrial unit to open in Dodworth.

The gang stole five pallets containing the decongestant sprays and contaminated other stock worth almost £30,000.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the culprits have never been caught – but Jamie Cassey, 32, was jailed after lending his van to the thieves.

David Webster, prosecuting, said the robbery happened at around 3.40am in August last year and the gang targeted the truck when it was parked on the industrial estate.

“The driver was asleep and was attacked. A large number of sprays were taken,” he said.

Mr Webster told the court that in stealing the pharmaceuticals, the robbers contaminated stock left behind.

“The contamination caused a loss to the business concerned of close to £30,000,” he said.

Cassey’s Ford Transit van was linked and traced.

Police officers found two boxes each containing 108 sprays in his kitchen.

“In interview he admitted the vehicle belonged to him but denied allowing anyone to use it,” Mr Webster said.

“He claimed he bought the sprays off someone who lived down the street.”

Cassey had previous convictions for shoplifting, public order and drugs offences, and stealing wheelie bins.

James Gould, defending, said Cassey was unemployed and ‘an opportunity was presented’ so he lent the van.

Cassey, who has a partner and an eight-month-old child, was jailed for nine months, after admitting handling stolen goods.

Judge Simon Lawler QC said: “You received some of the property which was taken in the theft. Although you indicate that you had no idea of the extent of the theft, it was a professionally executed job.”