A VIOLENT gang which used guns, machetes and knives as they robbed homes, shops, pubs and a bingo hall have been jailed for more than 90 years.
Today at Birmingham Crown Court Nicky Rothero, 35, from Austin Rise, Longbridge, was jailed for 24 years and Corey Rothero from Borrowdale Road, Northfield, for 15 having admitted conspiracy to rob, burgle and steal.
Aaron Jones, 28 – half-brother of Nicky Rothero and uncle to Corey – formerly of Stilthouse Grove, Northfield, was jailed for 27 years, while 19-year-old Tyler Greenway from Vineyard Road, Northfield, was given a 15-year term.
They admitted conspiracy to burgle and steal but denied involvement in the robberies but a jury found them guilty following a seven-week trial.
Darren Sadler, 41, from Dunbar Close, Bartley Green, had already been jailed for ten years eight months having been caught during a phone shop robbery.
He was given an extra four years after admitting his role in six other commercial robberies.
All the raids, which left victims fearing for their lives, took place between October 2018 and February 2019.
The Rotheros, Jones and Sadler started their crime spree on October 18, 2018, when they held up a One Stop shop in Bristol Road South, Northfield, with knives and forced staff to open a cash machine.
They then did the same thing at three more One Stop shops and robbed the Barnt Green Inn on November 5, fleeing with the pub’s takings.
On December 2, they threatened to stab staff at the EE phone shop in Bristol Road South, Northfield, before loading £60,000 worth of mobiles into a builder’s sack.
A fortnight later they stole a cash drawer from Buzz Bingo in Rubery.
The gang came unstuck on January 22, 2019, during a robbery at Carphone Warehouse in Longbridge town centre – they bagged £40,000 worth of handsets but plain clothed officers were on duty and rushed to the scene as brave passers-by helped detain Sadler.
He was arrested from behind the wheel of their getaway car stolen eight days earlier in Halesowen.
The other three managed to flee – one of them encouraging an armed accomplice to stab the officers.
Police later seized Nick Rothero’s phone and found a message he’d received asking what had happened to Sadler.
The gang recruited Tyler Greenway to fill the void left by Sadler’s capture.
Robberies were carried out on five more homes – one each in Barnt Green, Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and two in Halesowen – and security guards were attacked and threatened with guns whilst filling up a cash machine in Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield.
They made off on that occasion with two cash boxes which, despite the gang thinking they had around £80,000, were in fact empty.
The gang committed what turned out to be their final robbery – at a rural barn conversion in Stoney Lane, Bromsgrove – on April 4 – when a family was confronted by Jones armed with a sawn-off shotgun.
The Rotheros alongside accomplices Aaron Jones and Tyler Greenway were arrested in a stolen VW Golf on April 11, the day after a burglary in Clent.
Surveillance officers earlier watched them visit a shop in the Jewellery Quarter where they tried pawning stolen jewellery.
A jewellery box was found in the Golf’s passenger door pocket which contained letters written by the victim’s children to the Tooth Fairy – and when examined returned a fingerprint hit to 19-year-old Corey.
Following the arrests police searched the Rotheros’ homes.
They found nine designer watches – including Armani and Tissot – in Nicky’s bedroom drawers plus a decoder key used to steal vehicles, and a hunting knife used in several of the robberies.
And at Rothero junior’s home, officers recovered receipts in his name for pawned jewellery, including cash payments of £449 and £1,100 for two gold rings and another for £1,500. Balaclavas were also seized from his home.
Investigating officer, Det Con Dan Halford from West Midlands Police’s Force Priorities Team, said: “This was a ruthless band of men driven by greed.
“They used extreme violence to rob commercial premises and residential homes, assaulting victims and threatening to use knives and firearms.
“They struck at family homes, ones they suspected were affluent, at times when people were sitting down to dinner or caring for children.
“Their actions caused immeasurable distress to the victims and their families.
“We identified the group through forensic evidence we found DNA at some attacked premises – and extensive analysis of phone communication.
“We’ve taken some very dangerous men off the streets and they have rightly been jailed for a long period of time.”