THREE men from Thurrock are facing jail for their parts in an organised plot to steal from lorries.

Tommy Clampin, of Dock Road, Grays, and Dave Steingold, East Street, South Stifford, were found guilty of cutting open lorries parked up around the M25 to steal perfume, trainers and cigarette papers.

A third man Richard Chapman, of Copper Beech Road, South Ockendon, admitted a theft charge at an earlier hearing.

The gang’s operation was run from a site at Bretts Farm, Grays, and a jury heard how police uncovered the scheme and began Operation Bohemien.

Officers using night vision cameras followed an Iveco lorry, that used the Grays base, over a number of months.

Automatic number plate recognition was also used by officers and the lorry was followed to various places around the M25.

The jury at the eight-week trial were shown footage of men checking parked up lorries.

Vehicles with vinyl or plastic sides were slashed open so the thieves could see the cargo.

If it could be easily sold, loads or part loads were transferred onto the gang’s lorry, Chelmsford Crown Court heard last Friday.

The lorry used by the men was followed on various nights to lorry parks at Toddington services, Clackett Lane. South Mimms, Dartford, and other sites within reach of the M25.

Three other men, Steven Cochrane, of Carlisle Way, Pitsea, Grant Leeks, of Sudbury Road, Billericay, and Dean Leeks, of Cavedish Gardens, Aveley, were cleared by the jury.

Cochrane, 40, Grant Leeks, 40, and Dean Leeks, 36, were formally discharged by the court following the unanimous verdicts.

Clampin, 38, Steingold, 39, and Chapman, 37, will be sentenced later this month.