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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Toblerone burglars sentenced to jail !!

The city of Bern or Berne is the de facto capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their Bundesstadt, or "federal city". Bern is the fourth most populous city in Switzerland.   The official language of Bern is German, but the main spoken language is the Alemannic Swiss German dialect called Bernese German. In 1983 the historic old town in the centre of Bern became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Bern is ranked among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life.

You will read about this photo at the end of this post;  – it is a portrait the Duke of Cambridge might be a tad surprised by the latest recreation of his and his son's likeness.  Once most sought after distribution by those who returned from a foreign trip, the chocolate ‘Toblerone’ is  manufactured exclusively in the Swiss city of Bern-Brünnen. 

Toblerone  is a Swiss chocolate bar brand owned by Mondelēz International, Inc.,  It is well known for its distinctive prism shape (triangular prism or pentahedron).  The triangular shape of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps is commonly believed to have given Theodor Tobler his inspiration for the shape of Toblerone. However, according to Theodor's sons, the triangular shape originates from a pyramid shape that dancers at the Folies Bergères created as the finale of a show that Theodor saw.

- This post is on the  gang who stole £200,000 worth of Toblerone chocolate and £23,000 of whisky from articulated lorries-  have been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison. The six thieves were jailed for their individual roles in three thefts which took place in the Dover area in April 2013 – which has been reported widely in MailOnline and many other news sites.

A pallet containing boxes of high value whisky worth £23,000 was stolen from the trailer of a lorry parked in a haulage yard in Lydden, Kent. The lorry driver only discovered the pallet of alcohol had been taken when he arrived at the Port of Dover bound for mainland Europe and found the seal on his trailer had been tampered with.  Investigations at the haulage yard found a pair of latex gloves and two holes in the perimeter fence near to where the lorry had been parked. Then on April 20, 2013, a £40,000 DAF lorry tractor unit without a trailer was taken from a haulage yard in Whitfield.

Officers found CCTV at the premises which showed a total of four offenders angle grind the lock of the main gate off before one of them drove the lorry out of the yard.  The vehicle was discovered four days later in an industrial park in Eythorne, bearing false number plates. A third theft took place six days later when the haulage yard in Lydden was targeted again. Thieves broke into the premises and stole the keys to a lorry and its refrigerated trailer containing Toblerone chocolate worth £201,000. It was driven to one of the suspects' home address and haulage yard in Tarleton, Lancashire where the trailer and its consignment of chocolate were moved on and the lorry, which had cloned number plates fitted before its journey north, was abandoned.

The lorry was later found by police officers but the chocolate and the trailer have never been recovered. Following the thefts, detectives found evidence that the gang had been travelling to and from Merseyside and Kent shortly before and after the offences had taken place, often in convoy. Further evidence was uncovered on one of the suspect's mobile phones where he had stored pictures of the high value whisky stolen from the lorry in Dover in the first offence. Search warrants were executed at various addresses in July 2014 linked to the offenders in Kent, Merseyside, Lancashire and North Wales. A black balaclava and a signal jammer were seized at one address and at least four sim cards and several mobile phones were taken away and analysed at another location.

 Lee Henry Gilmore, 33, of Sidney Powell Avenue, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to his role in the initial theft while Graham Ascroft, 55, of Higher Lane, Holmes Tarleton, Preston, Lancashire, was found guilty by a jury. Jeffrey Hamid, 31, of Hargate Road, Liverpool, John Dahl, 44, of Aysgarth Avenue, Liverpool and Darren John Michael Price, 39, previously of County Road, Kirby, Liverpool, all pleaded guilty to their roles in the theft of the £40,000 lorry. Following a trial, Stuart Nicolson, 48, of Bindon Blood Road, Whitfield, Dover, was found guilty of taking part in the theft.

Now after they have been found guilty in trial, Gilmore was sentenced to four years eight months imprisonment, Hamid to four years six months, Dahl to four years eight months in prison and Price was sentenced to four years eight months. Nicolson was sentenced to four years and Ascroft to four years eight months imprisonment at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent.  Detective Sergeant Jon Saxby of Kent Police, who investigated the thefts, said after the sentencing: 'These sentences reflect the seriousness of these offences – organised, professional thieves who stole lorries and lorry loads to sell on. 'Ascroft, it appears, made the contacts to sell the haul on while Price and others travelled the country to target hauliers to steal the vehicles and the consignments. 'While this group made a quick sale, legitimate businesses and hauliers suffered greatly with property stolen, deliveries cancelled, excess payments on insurance and not to mention the inconvenience to their customers.

According the Law enforcers - 'The message is simple – if you commit crime in Kent, no matter where you are from, we will find you and we will bring you to justice.'

Now about the photo :  A giant chocolate portrait of the royal pair  was  unveiled to mark William's first Father's Day as a Dad in 2014. The piece was created by food artist Michelle Wibowo from Michelle Sugar Art, using a staggering 16,074 individual triangles of Toblerone.  It took more than 1,500 bars of the iconic shaped chocolate bar using dark, milk and white chunks to create depth and dimension. The art work measured an enormous 12ft x 8ft and weights a staggering 154kg.  The full creation took Michelle more than 100 hours of planning, preparation and construction.  She said, she was excited to create a portrait of Prince William and Baby George !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
27th May 2015.


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