Four-face trial for a “chop shop” ring
Four men appeared in court charged with involvement in a sophisticated keyless car theft and a car chop shop network.
Although the four co-defendants have been referred to Crown Court for trial, District Judge Bernie Kelly issued a warrant against a fifth alleged accomplice after learning he had apparently left the jurisdiction.
The four are:
Kyle Coulter (age unknown) of Ballybreagh Road, Portadown, who faces a charge of handling stolen cars and car parts;
Keith Winter (30), Greenview in Richhill, who is charged with two counts of handling stolen cars and car parts and possession of Â£ 58,885 of criminal money;
Vaidas Dambrauskas (38), from Northland Way, Moygashel – who is accused of having equipped himself for theft of a screwdriver, a scanner, an electronic jammer and a wireless electronic device, and;
Saulias Fereca (38), of Dawson Green in Portadown, accused of having equipped himself for theft and handling of stolen goods.
None of the facts were opened on Friday, but previous courts have heard how the charges were laid after what police described as a high-end stolen car “cutting shop” on Coulter’s farm was discovered. and that with spare car parts wrapped in ‘ready to release’ silage wrapper, police also discovered Â£ 30,000 in cash.
An attorney for the prosecution said the investigation focused on an “organized and sophisticated criminal gang suspected of keyless car theft.” The lawyer revealed that in the 12 months following their arrest in May of last year, there had been 40 high-value car thefts with a total value of around Â£ 750,000.
The attorney also said the searches of Coulter’s property “led to the identification” of Winter and searches of other Armagh area properties linked to him.
During a preliminary hearing on Friday, a prosecution lawyer said there was prima facie case against each of the defendants, an argument conceded by their various defense attorneys.
Releasing the four defendants on bail, DJ Kelly returned the case to Craigavon ââCrown Court and scheduled the arraignment for November 8.
She also issued an arrest warrant for Dovydas Kulikauskas, 30, from Killycomain Grove, Portadown.