Rampant car thief conspirators rumbled after nearly £400k worth stolen across GM
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A prolific gang of high-value car thief conspirators has been jailed for 24 years after being rumbled by our detectives combatting organised crime across Greater Manchester.
Daniel Scollins (31), Lucas Hunter (29), and Bradley Anderson (27) were sentenced today (26 August) at Liverpool Crown Court after each pleading guilty to conspiring to commit burglary.
Two of the trio were caught in the act in #Manchester earlier this year after a targeted sting by our Serious and Organised Crime Group (SOCG) who were investigating 21 reports of high-value cars being stolen between 28 December 2021 and 31 January 2022.
The court heard how the men had plotted to steal cars in eight Greater Manchester boroughs – as well as from addresses in Lancashire – in just a month by using a blowtorch or lock-snapping barrels to damage the locks to the back doors of addresses, before breaking into victim’s homes and stealing their car keys.
Detectives were able to link the gang to 21 such incidents that saw 17 vehicles worth a total of over £395,000 stolen from owners from #Oldham, #Rochdale, #Bury, #Salford, #Trafford, #Stockport, #Manchester, #Tameside, and #Lancashire.
The stolen cars would then be often used in other burglaries as the conspiracy continued to bring misery to innocent victims across the region.
Our specialist anti-gang detectives began to link the incidents together on 24 January and launched a dedicated operation – codenamed Taurus – to combat the spate of incidents.
The fast-paced investigation culminated on 2 February with a co-ordinated strike in the #Openshaw area of Manchester when officers from SOCG, Tactical Vehicle Intercept Unit (TVIU), and other specialist teams targeted Hunter and Anderson in a yard on Lees Street before we gave chase and detained them.
Also at the scene was a white Audi S3 that had been stolen from their first burglary in #Bacup on 28 December 2021.
Hunter and Anderson were taken to custody and charged before we arrested Scollins in #Hyde later that week where we seized a blowtorch and walkie talkies suspected of being involved in the thefts.
The men all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary before being sentenced today: Anderson, of Leighton Street, Moston, received eight years and three months; Hunter, of Dalham Avenue, Manchester, was sentenced to eight years and three months years; Scollins, of Rydal House Hyde jailed for seven years and six months.
Detective Constable Allan Barker, of our Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: “It is difficult to describe the misery and anguish this group inflicted on a number of families across the region over such a short period of time.
“They committed a series of invasive and ruinous crimes on innocent people, and they quite rightly have faced justice today after what was a complex and dynamic investigation by our team.
“We have clearly demonstrated here that no matter how organised and cunning a gang may think they are, we will use all the experience and resources we have to ensure that they are caught and taken off our streets.”
Superintendent Chris Foster, our lead on tackling burglary, said: “Burglary is a top priority for us in Greater Manchester and the public will know that we will have an officer attend every report we receive of it so that we can exhaust every viable line of enquiry to bring offenders to justice.
“This investigation is a superb example of the everyday work happening across GMP to ensure that those who steal – or conspire to steal – are identified and brought before the courts so that they are put behind bars.”