Woman guilty of stealing car badges


A 49-year-old woman was yesterday found guilty at Coventry Magistrates’ Court of stealing car badges from vehicles parked in the city as well as handling stolen badges which were taken from the city’s Transport Museum.

Maxine-Ann Sokil was arrested when the museum alerted the police to badges which were on sale on eBay which they had reported as stolen.

When the police searched Sokil's flat in Coventry, they found over 700 car badges, most which the police suspect were stolen recently from the local area,  as well as a number of badges from the transport museum. The defendant claimed that these had been given to her by family members and that she had bought the rest from car boot sales as well as scrap yards.

Some of these badges where later identified by the Curator of the Transport Museum as the ones stolen from them due to their rarity and distinctive markings.

The defendant was then charged with theft, attempted theft and handling stolen property.

On Tuesday 10 December, Sokil was sentenced to 12 month community requirement with two requirements:

1) supervision order; and
2) 10 week curfew between 9pm and 7am.

She was also ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £60.00 and contribution to prosecution costs of £200. A forfeiture  order was made in respect of the 700 badges recovered by the police.

Helen Whitehead, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Maxine-Ann Sokil deliberately targeted unsuspecting car owners in Coventry in order to steal their car insignias. She then advertised them online and sold them via the eBay website.

"It was only when a potential buyer recognised one of the badges, which had been stolen from the museum, that they contacted the museum who in turn informed the police.

"When arrested, Sokil maintained her innocence claiming that she had purchased the badges legitimately through car boot sales and scrap yards, but she was unable to provide officers with details and locations of these sites.

"In this case, most of the victims failed to report the theft of their car badges and this enabled Sokil to escalate her criminal activity. Although such crime may be viewed by some as low level, it is exactly this type of offending which blights communities and has an adverse effect on victims. If you are a victim of such a crime, please report it to the police."