Seven people have been sentenced for their roles in a prolific burglary conspiracy that stretched across three counties.
Yesterday, Friday 21 September 2018, six men and a woman were sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court for more than 25 years.
Between October 2016 and July 2017, the group, which operated out of Brinnington, committed over 40 burglaries at properties from Stockport to Cheshire and Derbyshire.
The conspirators focused mainly on stealing high powered cars from their targets but would also seize their opportunity to take other valuables, including bicycles.
They would break into houses in the middle of the night and steal the keys to the cars before driving off. The long list of vehicles taken during the burglaries includes an Audi RS Quattro, various different models of BMWs and numerous VW Golfs.
The total value of the property stolen during the conspiracy reached over £500,000.
The ringleaders of the group, Daniel Lloyd, Aaron Sowter and Wayne Hester, ensured the operation ran smoothly and at least one of them was present at the majority of the break-ins.
Layton Doran and Regan Harte also played key roles in the schemes assisting their bosses in adding to their stolen haul on a number of occasions. In an apparent attempt to brag about his illicit activities, Harte listed his occupation on Facebook as ‘Big Boss at Midnight Removals’.
Chris Hargreaves would lend the group his van to transport stolen motorbikes and bicycles, and on one occasion he gave Sowter a lift home after another busy night of criminality.
Casey Wilson would allow her boyfriend, Daniel Lloyd, to store stolen goods at her house.
The group were soon to get their comeuppance when officers from GMP’s Challenger Stockport team and Derbyshire Police executed dawn raids in Brinnington and Reddish in July 2017, during a strike day codenamed Operation Stymie.
The warrants uncovered incriminating evidence tying the seven to the burglaries which ultimately led to today’s conclusion.
Detective Sergeant Lee Barlow, of GMP’s Stockport Borough, said: “Today’s result comes as a result of a long running and meticulous operation looking at the activities of this Brinnington-based organised crime group.
“They inflicted misery on their victims by stealing their prized possessions in one of the most invasive ways possible; sneaking into homes as people slept and taking their valuables.
“Their roles may have differed with some seeming relatively minor, but they each played a key part in the conspiracy to carry out these burglaries and the illicit-machine would not have worked without every cog turning.
“I hope the result today emphasizes the dedication we have to tackling high value burglaries in Stockport and bringing to justice those responsible for such intrusive crimes.”
The full breakdown of the sentences handed down is as follows:
Daniel Lloyd (25/09/1991) of Middlesex Road, Brinnington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to steal. He was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.
Aaron Sowter (27/04/1993) of Northumberland Road, Brinnington pleaded guilty to the same offences and was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.
Wayne Hester (02/02/1996) of Lapwing Lane, Brinnington pleaded guilty to the same offences and was also jailed for six years and eight months.
Layton Doran (04/05/2000) of Stockport Road, Cheadle also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and burgle and was given a two year detention and training order.
Regan Harte (16/07/1999) of Morgan Place, Stockport was pleaded guilty to the same offences and was handed four years in a young offenders’ institute.
Casey Wilson (14/04/1992) of Middlesex Road , Brinnington received a 12-month community order after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods and possession of counterfeit currency.
Chris Hargreaves (28/04/1982) of Middlesex Road, Brinnington received a 21-month sentence, suspended for two years, for assisting an offender.