Ham­mer-wield­ing thieves jailed for to­tal of 27 years

Gang mem­ber stole thou­sands of pounds of tobacco dur­ing raids

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BUR­GLARS who broke into shops with sledge­ham­mers to steal thou­sands of pounds’ worth of cig­a­rettes have been jailed.

Six men were sen­tenced to a to­tal of 27 years and nine months im­pris­on­ment on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 19, for be­ing part of a con­spir­acy to bur­gle com­mer­cial premises.

Isle­worth Crown Court heard how they tar­geted six stores be­tween July and Septem­ber last year, break­ing in with sledge­ham­mers and screw­drivers in the early hours.

Wear­ing dark cloth­ing and with their faces cov­ered, they would force open the cig­a­rette cabi­net at each store and fill a wheelie bin or du­vet cover with tobacco prod­ucts, be­fore es­cap­ing in a ve­hi­cle with false reg­is­tra­tion plates.

Their big­gest haul, stolen from a store in Swakeleys Road, Ick­en­ham, worth £8,000.

The gang, which in­cluded mem­bers from West Dray­ton and Hayes, also tar­geted stores in West Dray­ton and Uxbridge.

Gavin Horsted, 36, of Uxbridge Road, Hayes, was jailed for four years and six months, af­ter be­ing found guilty by a jury.

Bradley Kear­ney, 30, of Park Lodge Av­enue, West Dray­ton, was jailed for four years. He was also found guilty.

Mark Sethi, 33, of North Road, West Dray­ton, got five years. He had pleaded guilty at an ear­lier hear­ing.

Kaine Brian Robert Grant, 24, of Fir Tree Av­enue, West Dray­ton, was jailed for four years and six months, hav­ing also pleaded guilty.

Pa­trick McDon­agh, 24, of no fixed ad­dress, was jailed for four years and six months. He, too, had pleaded guilty.

Ed­ward Pa­trick Jack McGinty, 34, of York­town Road, Sand­hurst, re­ceived a five-year sen­tence, af­ter also plead­ing guilty.

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Sethi and McGinty were also sen­tenced for go­ing equipped to steal.

The men were caught fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Metropoli­tan, Sur­rey and Thames Val­ley po­lice ser­vices.

On Septem­ber 9 last year, of­fi­cers from Hilling­don Bor­ough’s Crime Squad stopped two ve­hi­cles, one with false plates.

In­side the ve­hi­cles were Kear­ney, Sethi, McGinty, Grant and McDon­agh, all car­ry­ing gloves, bal­a­clavas and hand tools.

Horsted was later ar­rested in an­other ve­hi­cle, which was iden­ti­fied as a re­sult of hav­ing stopped the pre­vi­ous two.

In­side his home, of­fi­cers found bal­a­clavas, gloves and a dis­tinc­tive du­vet cover, which had been used in one of the of­fences.

De­tec­tive Constable Okiki Okunola, from Hilling­don Bor­ough’s Crime Squad, said: “This was a very com­plex in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing of­fi­cers from three polic­ing ar­eas.”

TJG1ST

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