Gang who stole £250k worth of luxury cars in Lancashire during organised crime spree jailed

A gang who stole high-performance cars, cash and jewellery during a crime spree across the North West have been jailed.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 7:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 7:56 pm

The gang - who travelled between targets in a taxi belonging to one of the men - carried out burglaries in Lancashire and North Wales, stealing high performance cars totalling approximately £250,000.

During sentencing, further thefts - which predated the police investigation - were also taken into consideration, bringing the total value of goods stolen by one of the gang members to more than £500,000.

Following a trial at Preston Crown Court in Maym, taxi driver Shujun Miah, 34, of Rawsthorne Avenue, Blackburn, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles.

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Three men have been jailed for a total of 25 years for their roles in plotting burglaries across the North West.

He was sentenced to eight years in jail.

Michael Gallagher, 32, of Falkland Street, Liverpool, was also found guilty of the same offences and sentenced to eight years.

Daniel Deens, 32, of Roughwood Drive, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to the same offences and was sentenced to nine years and four months after admitting to further offences which were taken into consideration by the judge when handing out his sentence.

PC Sam Patel, of Preston Police Target Team who led the investigation, said: "We welcome today's sentences which reflect the impact of this pre-medicated crime spree where the defendants have conspired together causing misery and anxiety for all the victims of this case.

"This gang have broken into people's homes during the night, at a time when victims are asleep in bed and vulnerable, often with children in the house.

"Many of the high value motor vehicles stolen have never been recovered resulting in huge financial losses."

The court heard how Miah used his taxi to transport the trio around the North West over a four-week period in February and March 2019, mainly targeting properties with high-performance cars parked outside.

A total of nine cars were stolen from across the region which included addresses in Darwen, Wilpshire, Chorley, Preston, Leyland and Walton-le-Dale.

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Several other cars and properties were targeted during the period, including two in one night, but were unsuccessful after the gang were disturbed by burglar alarms.

The gang used specialised equipment to snap locks and gain entry to the addresses in order to steal car keys.

They also used a technique known as "fishing" to hook keys through letterboxes.

Registration plates were then doctored on the stolen vehicles in an attempt to avoid detection.

Officers investigating the burglaries, codenamed Operation Speed, analysed telephone records, CCTV and ANPR data to track the group's movements and link all of the offences.

During the investigation parts from a number of the stolen cars were discovered at chop shops in Nelson and Merseyside.

High value jewellery and sums of cash were also reported stolen during the burglaries.

Shortly after midnight on March 15, 2019 officers from the Tactical Operation Unit stopped a taxi driven by Miah and arrested him along with Gallagher at the scene.

Deens, who is thought to have made off from the taxi, was subsequently arrested in Merseyside following a country wide appeal for his arrest.

PC Patel added: "This case was the result of a long running investigation over a number of months and I hope this result sends out the clear message that Lancashire is not an easy target for those who would seek to take advantage.

"We will find you and we will ensure that you answer for your actions before the courts."

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