Thugs jailed for ter­ri­fy­ing car­jack­ings

Solihull News - - NEWS - CHAR­LOTTE PAX­TON char­lotte. pax­ton@ reach­plc. com

A PAIR of vi­o­lent thugs – re­spon­si­ble for a string of vi­cious car rob­beries across Soli­hull and Birm­ing­ham – were jailed this week.

Sar­weeth Rehman and Hus­sun Ashraf were sen­tenced on Tues­day for their parts in the plot, which saw mainly women driv­ers tar­geted in a series of ter­ri­fy­ing car­jack­ings.

The pair, both aged 22, at­tacked mo­torists with golf clubs, base­ball bats or metal bars be­fore driv­ing off in high- end cars. Their vi­o­lent spree be­gan on Au­gust 24 last year, when Rehman threat­ened the BMW M4 driver for his keys in Shirley’s Bax­ters Green.

The driver fled, hurl­ing his keys into a gar­den as he ran, be­fore rage- filled Rehman set about smash­ing up the M4 and caus­ing dam­age put at £ 10,000.

Later that day they stole a Volkswagen Golf Type R af­ter drag­ging the woman driver from be­hind the wheel in Hath­away Road, Shirley. They struck again on Septem­ber 18 when they robbed a man of his Audi RS6 in Church Road, Mose­ley.

And on Oc­to­ber 2, Rehman fol­lowed a lone woman driver on to her drive­way in Barston Lane, Barston, near Soli­hull, be­fore punch­ing her and driv­ing off in her Mercedes C- Class Es­tate.

Of­fi­cers tracked the RS6 less than an hour later to Spreadbury Close in Har­borne − and dur­ing a search of the car found an iPhone dropped by Ashraf in his haste to flee the de­po­si­tion site.

His Stu­arts Road home in Stech­ford was raided by po­lice on Novem­ber 9 and an­other phone, found hid­den in a wardrobe, was foren­si­cally shown to have been used at the scene of three more car­jack­ings.

It helped de­tec­tives link him to a rob­bery in Brace­bridge Close, Bal­sall Com­mon, on Oc­to­ber 20 when a Mercedes was taken from a woman as she pulled on to her drive­way, plus an­other two days later in Dam­son Lane, Soli­hull, when a man handed over keys to his BMW M135 hav­ing been ap­proached by two men armed with a knife and golf club.

The next rob­bery saw a man wear­ing a bal­a­clava drive off in a woman’s BMW M135 on Oc­to­ber 25 from the Har­vester pub car park in Bold­mere Road, Sut­ton Cold­field.

Ashraf and Rehman − who was also ar­rested on Novem­ber 9 from his home in Har­topp Road, Alum Rock − had been on bail at the time on sus­pi­cion of in­volve­ment in a con­spir­acy to steal cars. A sep­a­rate en­quiry run by West Mid­lands Po­lice’s Force Pri­or­i­ties Team ex­posed how they used a yel­low break­down re­cov­ery truck to tow away seven cars parked in Birm­ing­ham streets be­tween May 4 and June 13, 2016.

Ashraf and as­so­ciate Adal Azam were ar­rested at 11.30pm on June 13 shortly af­ter a BMW 1 Series was stolen from St Mary’s Road in Har­borne.

A po­lice pa­trol car tailed the tow truck into Gowan Road, Alum Rock, where Ashraf was de­tained af­ter a brief foot- chase.

Azam, aged 22, from Wat­son Road, was ar­rested from a Vauxhall Corsa be­ing driven in con­voy with the truck.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors found a What­sApp mes­sage sent from Ashraf that read “got 2 cars to­day, M135i and a Corsa… we found them day­time” while Rehman’s phone re­vealed con­tact be­tween him and the seller of a yel­low LDV break­down truck. Ashraf and Rehman went on to ad­mit con­spir­acy to rob and con­spir­acy to steal mo­tor ve­hi­cles. They also ad­mit­ted two counts of as­sault with in­tent to rob in re­la­tion to two failed car- jack­ings on Fe­bru­ary 9, 2017, at Moat Lane and Faze­ley car parks in Birm­ing­ham.

At Birm­ing­ham Crown Court Ashraf was jailed for six years four months and Rehman for six years.

Azam was im­pris­oned for three years and ten months. A fourth man, Shoaib Hus­sain, of Prim­ley Av­enue in Brom­ford, pleaded guilty to con­spir­ing to steal cars.

He was given a 12- month sus­pended jail sen­tence at an ear­lier hear­ing on Oc­to­ber 12. One of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers, Det Con Chris El­more, said: “They tar­geted pri­mar­ily lone mo­torists and of­ten fe­male driv­ers. I’m pleased the court has recog­nised the ex­tent and sever­ity of their of­fend­ing and handed down lengthy prison sen­tences.”

Hus­sun Ashraf and Sar­weeth Rehman

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