A Suffolk man who stole 15 motorcycles worth more than £30,000 after posing as a buyer and driving off after asking to take them on a test drive has been jailed for three years.

Sentencing Ricky Davis of Maundy Close, Bury St Edmunds, judge Nicola Talbot- Hadley said some of the offences took place while he was banned from driving.

Davis, 31, admitted stealing a motorcycle in Brandon in December 2020 and two in Bury St Edmunds in October and November 2020.

He also admitted stealing a motorcycle in June 2021 in Thetford and another motorcycle in Bury St Edmunds in August 2021.

After being charged with these thefts, Davis met with officers from the Operation Converter team and admitted a further 12 thefts of motorcycles between October 2020 and October 2021 in Bury St Edmunds, Brandon, Thetford.

Ten of the thefts were in Suffolk and two were in Norfolk.

In addition to being jailed Davis was banned from driving for 12 months.

Natasha Nair for Davis said he had stolen the motorcycles to pay off a £30,000 drug debt after being intimidated by the people he owed money to.

She said he was remorseful for what he’d done.

Following the sentencing hearing, Duncan Etchells of the Operation Converter team said: “Davis had a notable modus operandi of arranging to meet people who would travel from all over the country to sell their motorbikes after they’d advertised them online.

“He would then meet them, and under the pretence of taking the bike for a test ride would then ride off on the bike, never to be seen again.

“His crimes attracted a lot of social media attention in the Bury St Edmunds and Thetford area over the period of his criminality, but to see him behind bars will hopefully give some closure for those people he stole from him.”

He said Suffolk had seen a drop in motor vehicle crime in the past two years.

“Comparing the 12 months from July 2020 to June 2021 with July 2021 to June 2022, there was a drop of 12.8% in theft from a motor vehicle, while theft of a motor vehicle saw a drop of 11.3% over the same period,” said Mr Etchells.

“This is the best figure for the east of England region and for theft of a motor vehicle, it is the only force of the six to see a decline. Officers are putting this down to the fact of some good proactive work by local police in tackling motor vehicle theft over recent months."