Teenagers admit stealing £30,000 of chewing gum from lorry at motorway services

Two teenagers have admitted stealing GBP30,000-worth of chewing gum from a lorry parked at a service station as its driver slept. Ellis Benecke, 19, and Keon Sanderson, 18, broke into an HGV at Gloucester Services last month. The pair cut open the side of the lorry and stole the packs of Wrigley’s gum after the vehicle had stopped at the M5 services.

The teens, from West Yorkshire, also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis when they appeared at Cirencester Courthouse on Tuesday. Benecke, of Leeds, and Sanderson, of Birstall, Batley, were pursued by police before abandoning their vehicle on the A40 Golden Valley bypass.

Custody photograph of Ellis Benecke.Ellis Benecke admitted stealing GBP30,000 worth of chewing gum (Gloucestershire Constabulary SWNS)Keon SandersonKeon Sanderson broke into an HGV at the M5 Gloucester services with his friend (Gloucestershire Constabulary SWNS)

They have both been released on bail and are due to be sentenced on July 19. Gloucester Crown Court was told in May that the duo made a hole in the side of the truck and unloaded the pallets into their own car.

They stole the goods as the unsuspecting driver rested at the services. 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.”

Most of the chewing gum was recovered, Gloucestershire Police confirmed. A statement from the force at the time read: “The incident began shortly after 3am on May 4 when police received a report of a man at Gloucester Services removing items from an HGV. “The vehicle began to travel north on the M5 before being located by officers as it approached junction 11, where it failed to stop for police.

“Further specialist officers joined the pursuit and followed the suspect vehicle as it left the motorway at junction 11.

“The lorry then drove the wrong way around the roundabout and joined the A40 Golden Valley, driving on the wrong side of the carriageway.

“The vehicle was stopped in the road and the occupants attempted to run from police on foot before being found by police dog Tekla and their handler.”