Organised crime gang jailed following series of armed robberies in Cheshire and Manchester
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Six men who carried out a series of armed robberies at convenience stores across Cheshire and Greater Manchester have been jailed for more than 50 years.
Jack Yarwood, Michael Burke, Stuart Watson, Daniel Adamson, Michael Kedie, and Connor Kedie, were all members of an organised crime gang based in Greater Manchester.
Their crime spree began on Sunday 12 May when they targeted a CO-OP store in Lymm.
Over the next seven months the gang went on to commit a further 27 armed robberies at stores across Cheshire and Manchester.
They targeted stores shortly before they were due to close, with the intent of stealing as much money as possible, along with large quantities of cigarettes.
On each occasion the gang travelled to the stores in stolen cars.
One member of the gang would wait in the car while the other offenders entered the stores armed with machetes and threatened staff, demanding that they hand over cash and cigarettes.
During one incident in Warrington a shop worker was dragged across the floor by her feet.
Detectives from Cheshire Constabulary linked the men to four robberies in Warrington and Lymm through forensic, ANPR and CCTV evidence.
They also worked closely with colleagues at Greater Manchester Police to link the men to a further 24 incidents in Greater Manchester.
As well as the armed robberies at business premises, detectives also linked the gang to an incident on Thursday 16 June where they stormed a house on Dunham Road, Warburton.
After breaking into the home, they locked a mother and her two children in a cupboard whilst they raided the house, stealing expensive watches and jewellery.
The gang’s crime spree was brought to an end on Thursday 21 November 2019, when officers from Greater Manchester Police executed simultaneous search warrants at the offenders’ homes in Greater Manchester.
During the raids officers recovered two stolen cars that were used in the robberies. They also seized a number of weapons, including a machete, a meat cleaver and items of clothing.
Five members of the gang subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, while Connor Kedie pleaded guilty to assisting an organised crime gang.
The gang returned to Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday 29 June for sentencing.
At the hearing the Judge praised the investigations teams at both Cheshire Constabulary and Greater Manchester Police. He also directed that the officers be awarded Chief Constables commendations. The individual prison sentences they received were:
Jack Yarwood, 20/12/85, of Regent Place, Water Street, Salford, was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years and 42 days for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Michael Burke, 06/04/1981, of Winchester Road, Trafford, was jailed for life, with a minimum of 15 years and 3 months for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Stuart Watson, 15/04/1981, of Kingsway Park, Trafford, was jailed for life with a minimum of 8 years and 10 months for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Daniel Adamson, 21/01/1986, of Hurst Avenue, Sale, was jailed for life, with a minimum of 11 years and 1 days for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Michael Kedie, 20/02/1991, of Magnolia Court, Sale, was jailed for 12 years and 3 months for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Connor Kedie, 30/04/1998, of Rookfield Avenue, Sale, was handed a 12 month suspended sentence for assisting an OCG.
Following the sentencing Detective Sergeant Rob Massey, who led the investigation into the robberies in Cheshire, 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 robberies which spanned across numerous police forces across the North West.
“Over a seven-month period the gang went to great lengths to plan and carry out 28 armed robberies at convenience stores across the region.
“All of the businesses targeted provide essential services to local communities, and the robberies have had a profound effect on the owners and their staff.
“I hope that the conclusion of this case provides reassurance to all of the victims and allows them to move forward with their lives.
“The message is clear, if you come to Cheshire to commit crime, you will be caught and you will be brought to justice.”
Detective Sergeant Richard Castley, from GMP's SOCG, said: "This was a series of terrifying incidents that saw staff members and members of the public in their own homes assaulted and scared for their lives - some of them still haven't returned to work and are some are still recovering from their ordeal.
"Staff were threatened with machetes and knives, dragged along the floor and manhandled. A family were targeted in their own address, assaulted and threatened with machetes and were fearing for their lives.
"The members of the public targeted by these offenders were simply doing their job to serve the public in their local shop or were in their home addresses when they were confronted with this masked gang armed with weapons.
"Their robbery spree days are now over after our thorough investigation and this sends out a message - no matter how organised and sophisticated a group is - we will track offenders down and bring them to justice."
Detective Chief Inspector Clare Coleman added: “As a result of the excellent work conducted by the dedicated team of detectives here at Cheshire Constabulary, along with the work of our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police, this crime spree has now been brought to an end.
“This case demonstrates that criminals do not stop when they reach the border. “It is more important than ever that we work closely with our partners to ensure that such criminals are brought to justice.”