Grant Ray admitted 12 offenses, including theft, fraud and taking of a vehicle without consent, which took place between May 2019 and November 2020. The 28-year-old, formerly of Barn Platt, Ashford, has was jailed for a total of three years at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday 24 May 2021.

The first of the offenses took place in the early hours of Wednesday May 15, 2019, as the victim was walking through an underpass at Kimberley Way, Ashford. Ray and another man approached the victim and held her against a wall.

They threatened to stab him if he didn’t hand over his things. They stole the man’s wallet and phone, punching him and threatening to stab him if he didn’t unlock the phone. A stolen bank card was then used at a supermarket and gas station. Police officers in Kent obtained CCTV footage of Ray visiting the stores and later identified him as one of the thieves.

On Wednesday 23 September 2020, a car was picked up in Athol Road, Ashford after its owner returned home and left the engine running.

The car then left a gas station on Hythe Road without having to pay for fuel. The vehicle was later found abandoned, after sustaining extensive damage at Hever Gardens. A lighter found on one of the seats carried Ray’s DNA.

On Wednesday November 18, 2020, a Volvo was taken in the forecourt of a gas station in Brookfield Road, Ashford as the owner paid for gasoline. Officers entered the area and arrested Ray at Knoll Lane.

The vehicle was found at Bucksford Lane, on fire and damaged in a collision. Ray, who was banned from driving at the time, refused to take a breath or drug test.

Detective Constable Natasha Russell, one of Kent Police investigators, said: ‘Ray is a repeat offender who continued to commit a crime even while under investigation for d ‘other offenses. ‘The theft he committed would have been terrifying to his victim and the condition in which he left the cars he was involved in the taking suggests he could easily have caused a serious accident. ‘Our investigations into his offenses have now seen him jailed and he will be unable to disturb the people of Ashford for some time. ”

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