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Kirstie Covele was the driver for a gang of car thieves, Maidstone Crown Court heard
Gifted horserider Kirstie Covele, 18, ferried the criminals to large rural homes to steal Mercedes, BMWs and Audis.
The burglars wore menacing masks as they raided the homes simply to take the car keys, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
They then drove cars worth up to £45,000 away to be sold intact under false number plates or stripped of parts then burnt out.
They stole cars ranging from Vauxhall Astras to Mercedes and BMWs
Shannon Revel, prosecuting
The “hugely ambitious” Covele, who aims to represent Britain in events such as showjumping and dressage, admitted driving the gang to 13 out of 33 break-ins.
But she told police she had no idea they were carrying out raids and said she only got petrol money.
Covele, a would-be model and agricultural college student from Orpington, Kent, admitted conspiracy to steal last week.
The hearing on Friday was told the raids were carried out around South-east London and Kent.
The gifted horse rider was hoping to compete at the next Olympics
Shannon Revel, prosecuting, said: “A total of 33 burglaries were committed over a two-month period and had the same key elements. In groups of two or more, they broke into residential properties. In the majority the residents were at home in the early hours of the morning.
“They stole cars ranging from Vauxhall Astras to Mercedes and BMWs, driving them away.
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“They then saw one of two fates – number plates were changed and attempts to scratch off the identification numbers were made and then sold on. A small number were destroyed – smashed up and set alight.
“Tools were used to enter the properties. Some of the defendants wore masks and gloves.”
Covele admitted driving the gang to 13 out of 33 break-ins
Sam Thomas, defending, said Covele was a “hugely ambitious young woman” who aimed to compete at the next Olympics.
She became involved with the gang at a time of “trauma, distress and stress” as her father was dying from motor neurone disease, the court heard.
Gang ringleader Thomas Ripley, 21, of St Mary Cray, Kent, and Jack Hever, 20, of nearby Orpington, together with youths of 17 and 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted conspiracy to burgle.
Shannon Kelynack, 19, from Orpington, and two 16-year-olds – one girl and one boy – whose identities are also protected, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.
Judge Adele Williams granted the 16-year-old girl bail ahead of her sentencing next week and granted her bail.
The other defendants were all remanded in custody for sentencing on Monday.