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U.K. man gets three years behind bars for drug, theft and criminal damage offences

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Now 20-year-old lands on police radar for sporting similar jacket and pricey watch

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A U.K. man who was nabbed after sporting the same jacket and a watch similar to one that had earlier been stolen has been jailed for being concerned in supplying cannabis, crack cocaine and heroin.

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The sentenced was handed down in Manchester Crown Court last week after the accused’s drug-dealing activities were discovered during a search flowing from the theft of a Rolex Yachtmaster watch worth £5,000 ($8,250), according to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

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The expensive timepiece had been lifted from a pawnbroker in Plymouth in November 2021, with images from CCTV footage of the theft later circulated across the U.K.

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The watch was reportedly stolen by the accused and another individual in November 2021 after the two asked the shopkeeper to try on the watch that was behind a glass display case, but then fled the scene, according to The Irish Sun.

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Upon searching the man, he was found to be wearing the same the jacket as the images of the man at the pawnshop and sporting a Rolex watch, albeit not believed to be the one that had been stolen.

He also had two cellphones, data from which police downloaded, revealing hundreds of messages regarding the supply of cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

“These ‘blast’ messages advertised the sale of drugs to a large number of contacts on various times and dates,” the GMP reports, with operations out of Morecambe and High Peak “run from his address at the time in Manchester.”

That apparently wasn’t enough trouble for the man, who scratched graffiti into a door while in custody, causing an estimated £595 ($982) in damage. For that, a charge of criminal damage was added.

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The Irish Sun reports the 20-year-old’s crime spree ended in March of 2022 during a stop-and-search. That was when he was caught scratching the words “f**k Greater Manchester Police” and his name “is a bad man” in the exercise yard at Forest Bank prison.

Last week, GMP reports the accused received three years in a Young Offender’s Institute for all offences. It is illegal throughout the U.K. to take, carry, make, sell, deal or supply drugs.

“Although you were 18 at the time of the offences, that age is not a cliff edge and at that time you were well over the cusp and considerably mature,” the judge noted in handing down the sentence, per the Mirror. “’I am hard pushed to accept that you and your accomplice went into the pawn shop that day for a genuine reason other than to steal.”

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The man is reportedly the nephew of a cop killer now serving four whole life sentences for the gun and grenade murders of two officers, as well as a father and son, in 2012, according to the Manchester Evening News.

“This result was a fantastic example of all the police forces in the U.K. working together to identify, prosecute and convict criminals, who think nothing of committing crimes, no matter where they are,” DC Daniel Riley of GMP’s Economic Crime Unit says in the police statement.

“We are very grateful to all of those involved, which has led to a drug dealer being taken off the streets of Tameside,” Riley adds.

It is not the first time that offenders have left a video trail to themselves. That was the case with footage of a group of people fighting with each other in a notorious “spice hotspot” and the suspected link to synthetic cannabis, or the teens arrested after a viral video showed a three-year-old smoking a blunt.

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