A BALACLAVA-CLAD gang of burglars who smashed their way into south Warwickshire homes have been jailed.
Roshan Singh, John Shorthouse and Kadim Shah targeted properties in villages including Henley-in-Arden, Ullenhall, Claverdon and Wilmcote.
During 30 burglaries last year the trio stole a number of shotguns which they sold on to criminal gangs in Birmingham.
It is estimated the gang stole more than £700,000 worth of high value items – including cars, watches and in some locations legitimately owned shotguns – during raids in Warwickshire and neighbouring Worcestershire and south Birmingham. The trio were also responsible for two robberies and a ram-raid at a Co- op store.
They were caught following a West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) investigation, and are now behind bars.
All three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle, two counts of robbery and possession of firearms. Shorthouse also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and both him and Shah pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified. They were sentenced to a total of nearly 48 years in prison.
Singh, 29, of South Acre Avenue, Birmingham was jailed for 16 years, Shorthouse, 23, of Greenford Road, Yardley, for 16 years and eight months, and Shah, 21, of Lewis Road, Stirchley, for 15 years and two months.
Following the sentencing, Insp Dave Kettle from Warwickshire Police, which worked with ROCU, said: “A house burglary can be a traumatic experience to the victim and their family, and the trauma goes far beyond any financial or sentimental loss from the items taken or damaged during the offence.
“The individual impact varies and is personal to those affected – it can leave homeowners feeling scared and vulnerable in their own home, the very place they should feel most secure.
“The offences in Warwickshire were unsophisticated and frightening in nature, whereby those responsible were wearing balaclavas and smashing their way in to properties usually in the middle of the day. They were also seemingly unconcerned with whether anyone was actually in the property at the time and willing to confront anyone who was.
“Normally a burglary will directly impact the targeted house and on occasions the neighbouring properties. However, the volume and nature of these offences had a much wider impact on the local area, with local communities feeling concerned.
“Hopefully this outcome will reassure our communities that we take offences of this nature very seriously and will work with our border forces to investigate offences and ensure those responsible are bought to justice for their actions.”