Thugs jailed for terrifying carjackings
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