A man has been convicted of stealing nearly 200,000 chocolate eggs, worth around £40,000 ($48,000), in what British police have dubbed an “eggs-travagent theft.”
Joby Pool, 32, pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to criminal damage and theft, West Mercia Police said in a statement.
Tens of thousands of Cadbury Creme Eggs – a cult British chocolate egg with a white and yellow soft fondant center – were stolen from a unit in Stafford Park in Telford, western England, on Saturday, according to police.
The chocolate was recovered when Pool was stopped by highway police on Saturday, the force said.
Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court was told on Tuesday that Pool used a metal grinder to break into the industrial unit, before driving off with the chocolate, PA Media news agency reported.
According to PA Media, prosecutor Owen Beale said: “This clearly wasn’t spur-of-the-moment offending, if I can put it like that, because he had taken with him a tractor unit and he had to know that the load was there in the first place.
“It’s clearly a leading role and it’s clearly significant planning.”
Pool’s solicitor John McMillan told the court: “He stopped the vehicle when he realized he was being followed. He realized that the game was up – he realized the police were behind him and pulled in when it was safe to do so.”
McMillan added: “He wasn’t offering any resistance and he was then arrested.”
In a string of light-hearted tweets after Pool’s arrest, West Mercia Police said: “West Mercia Police has helped save Easter for Crème Egg fans after almost 200,000 of the chocolate treats were stolen from a unit in Stafford Park in Telford.
“The eggs-travagent theft took place on Saturday 11 February with the chocolate collection box thought to be worth around £40,000. Along with the crème eggs a number of other chocolate varieties were also stolen.
“Shortly after the theft a vehicle, presumably purporting to be the Easter bunny, was stopped northbound on the M42 and a 32 year old man was arrested on suspicion of theft.”
Pool was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing next month.