A "PROLIFIC" vehicle thief who stole a tractor, van, car and truck from Dorchester and west Dorset in the space of five months has been jailed.

Rickey Lee Thompson, aged 32 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, December 22 after admitting two counts of aggravated theft of a motor vehicle as well as charges of taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, assault, theft of a motor vehicle and arson.

He was sentenced to six years in prison and also disqualified from driving for five years, with the ban not due to commence until he is released from prison.

On Friday, March 31, a tractor was stolen in the Litton Cheney area and was subsequently found damaged in the area of Maiden Newton.

On Friday, June 9, a Range Rover was stolen from the Nottington Lane area near Weymouth and was later found in Abbotsbury having collided with a wall.

On the evening of Wednesday, July 5, a white Nissan e-NV200 van was stolen from the driveway of an address in Martinstown near Dorchester.

The victim saw his vehicle being driven off and went to stop it, but it made off, making slight contact with the victim as it went past him that did not result in any serious injury.

The van was found in Bridport on Wednesday, July 12.

On the morning of Thursday, July 6, a white tipper truck was found on fire in Jubilee Close in Weymouth and it was established that the vehicle had been stolen from an address in the Burton Bradstock area.

Through joint work by the Rural Crime Team, neighbourhood policing teams and response officers, police were able to piece together evidence to link Thompson to the various offences and he was subsequently arrested and charged.

Police Constable Glen Caddy, of Dorchester police, said: “Rickey Thompson is a prolific offender who showed no regard for other people’s property.

“We recognise the impact these kind of offences have on vehicle owners and I hope this case demonstrates that we will fully investigate reports of this nature and bring offenders to justice wherever possible.”