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Six men from Wirral who burgled houses and dozens of businesses across the UK have been jailed for a total of more than 30 years.
Gary Platt, 43; Kieran Platt, 25; Joseph Salla, 19; Joshua Wilkinson, 22; Lee Hodgin, 33; and Peter Mighall, 45; all pleaded guilty on Friday 6 December to conspiracy to commit burglary.
Wilkinson also admitted a charge of dangerous driving whilst Gary and Kieran Platt asked for a number of other burglary offences to be taken into consideration.
The men were members of an organised crime gang who carried out two house burglaries, 30 commercial burglaries and five theft from motor vehicle offences between Sunday 4 August 2019 and Monday 4 November 2019.
The gang specifically targeted business premises with the intent of stealing cash from their safes.
They raided pubs, restaurants, bus depots, convenience stores, social clubs and even dry cleaners during their crime spree.
The group used a high powered Audi S4 car to travel to and from businesses they targeted. They stole the vehicle whilst burgling a house in Barnston, Wirral.
In an attempt to evade capture, the gang stole number plates and used them on stolen vehicles when committing offences.
The areas they targeted included Chester, Ellesmere Port, Macclesfield, Willaston, Wirral, Kendal, Morecambe, Northop, Wrexham, Oswestry and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Detectives from Ellesmere Port CID linked the six men to the burglaries through mobile phone, ANPR and CCTV evidence, and their crime spree was brought to an end on Thursday 7 November 2019 when officers from Cheshire, Merseyside and the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit executed simultaneous search warrants at their homes in Wirral.
Stolen property, clothing, tools and mobile phones that linked the men to various burglaries were seized during the raids.
Gary Platt, of Anthorn Close, Noctorum, Birkenhead; Kieran Platt, of Sandalwood Drive, Noctorum, Birkenhead; Salla, of Oakleaf Mews, Noctorum, Birkenhead; Wilkinson, of Dalesway, Heswall; Hodgin, of Lansdowne Road, Birkenhead; and Mighall, of no fixed address; were subsequently arrested.
They were sentenced for their offences at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 14 February.
The group were jailed for a total of 31-and-a-half years.
The individual prison sentences they received were:
Following sentencing, Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, who led the investigation, said: “I am delighted that these men are now behind bars facing the consequences of their actions in the form of significant prison sentences.
“Their convictions and sentencing marks the conclusion of what has been a lengthy and complex investigation into a series of burglaries which spanned across numerous police forces in England and Wales.
“Over a three-month period the gang went to great lengths to plan and co-ordinate more than 30 burglaries at houses, pubs, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses across the UK.
“They stole a car worth £13,000 during a house burglary.
“The group also stole more than £45,000 and caused in excess of £35,000 worth of damage to business premises.
“All of the businesses targeted provide essential services to local communities, and the burglaries have had a profound effect on the owners and their staff.
“The gang had the audacity to burgle the same premises on a number of occasions and used a variety of techniques in a failed attempt to try to cover up their crimes, including concealing their identities and using cloned vehicles.”
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Draco added: “As a result of the excellent work conducted by the dedicated team of detectives here at Cheshire Constabulary, this crime spree has now been brought to an end.
“This case demonstrates our commitment to relentlessly pursuing and bringing to justice organised crime groups who cause so much harm to our communities.”