By Tristan Harris Tuesday 12 March 2013 Updated: 13/03 00:16
EIGHT men were jailed yesterday (Monday) in connection with almost 40 break-ins at properties across the Midlands, including some at Bromsgrove garden centres.
The incidents included furniture, other goods and cash totalling more than £8,000 being taken from Little Heath, more than £5,000 being stolen from Burcot and £28,000 which was taken from Barnett Hill Garden Centre in Clent.
The total haul, which also included items stolen from Ombersley, Worcester, Kidderminster, Evesham, Tenbury, Ludlow, Hereford, Tewksbury and Dudley, came to £127,000.
At Ombersley Golf Club, nothing was stolen, but damage totalling £20,000 was caused. BT also suffered substantial losses.
Terry Hodgkins, 36, of Whittall Drive East, Kidderminster, Jamie Worrall, 26 of Masons Close, Halesowen, Jordan Taylor, 22, of Beecher Road, Halesowen, Andrew Sadler, 26, from Dunlin Drive, Kidderminster, Michael Cope, 25, from Woodbury Road, Kidderminster, Neil Davis, 42, from Bewdley Road, Stourport, Mark Wilson, also 42, from Birchfield Road, Kidderminster, and Timothy Smith, 21, from Truro Drive, Kidderminster, all admitted conspiracy to burgle at various locations nationally between June 2011 and July 2012.
Taylor also admitted stealing two reels of telecommunications cable from Sherborne Homes Ltd at Kingswinford in August 2012.
Hodgkins, Sadler and Worrall were each given six years behind bars, Smith was handed three and-a-half years in prison and Wilson was sentenced to three years. Davis was jailed for two years while Taylor was handed a 30-month term and Cope was given 18 months.
Police caught the perpetrators as part of Operation Mask.
It found the gang would cut the phone lines to disable the connection between the targeted premises and the alarm company.
The alarm would sound, but to the keyholder or security guard, it would appear everything was fine.
The gang members, hiding nearby, would then break-in and, although the alarms would sound, the alarm companies would not be contacted. They were either then not aware or put the triggering of the alarm down to a fault.
The thieves would also damage CCTV cameras or point them in another direction and head for the safes.
Det Con Phillipa Metcalfe of West Mercia Police said: “The operation was masterminded by Hodgkins and involved a group of experienced criminals.
"While it was a sophisticated operation, the defendants became greedy and over confident, which ultimately led to their downfall. "
MADCAP Theatre Productions are back at Bromsgrove’s Artrix
TWO MEN are being sought by police after
AN INQUEST has been opened into the death
SHOCKING statistics released by The Children's Society show
A DISTINCTIVE laptop was taken by thieves during a burglary ...
A TRADER who caused unnecessary suffering to a rabbit he ...
A PRISONER who went on the run after being released ...