A gang of thieves who targeted cash and carry customers has been jailed for a total of 30 years after wholesalers worked with police to track them down.
The four-man gang snatched thousands of pounds’ worth of tobacco products from retailers as they were loading their vehicles outside cash and carry depots in the Midlands on around 20 occasions in September last year. However, the crime wave came to an end after their stolen vehicle was spotted at Costco’s Derby branch (pictured) and police arrested the men after a dramatic chase on the M42.
As a matter of course, member companies of the FWD share details of crimes and suspicious activity on their premises, and this intelligence, including CCTV images and registration numbers, is passed to the police.
FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “Since this gang was caught we’ve seen a marked decrease in reported incidents in the area. Theft from cash and carry customers is fortunately quite rare, but large quantities of cigarettes on display in car parks do tempt opportunist criminals. Our members are investing in CCTV and security barriers, and FWD issues posters and leaflets advising customers to take simple precautions while loading, such as not leaving their stock of their vehicle unattended.
“We encourage all cash and carry operators to report crime on their premises to our Criminal Intelligence Database, and this information helps to catch criminals, and dissuade others from targeting wholesalers and their customers.”
The four men were convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of conspiracy to commit robbery in September last year. John Gourlay, 41, of no fixed address, was jailed for 13 years at Birmingham and three months, Anton Richards, 29, of Birmingham, for 11 years and Charlie Johnson, 19, of Birmingham, for six years. Kyran Rooney, 19, of Yardley, Birmingham will be sentenced on May 7.
More info, pictures and video here: http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2015/04/15/watch-three-jailed-for-30-years-after-stealing-shropshire-cars-for-40000-cigarette-heists/