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Halesowen pair jailed for part in masked gang burglaries
4:49pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
TWO Halesowen men who were part of a balaclava clad gang of professional criminals which raided golf clubs and garden centres stealing more than £100k have been jailed.
The gang of eight men were arrested following an investigation led by West Mercia Police given the codename Operation Mask.
Jamie Worrall, aged 26, of Masons Close and Jordan Taylor, aged 22, of Beecher Road, were jailed at Hereford Crown Court today in connection with the break-ins at nearly 40 premises across the Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire, which saw more than £100k of cash and goods taken.
Worrall received a six-year term, while Taylor was handed a 30-month jail sentence. The six other gang members were jailed for between six years and 18-months.
Premises targeted included Barnett Hill Garden Centre in Clent, from which £28k was taken and Harry Tuffins store in Cleobury Mortimer, from which £34k was stolen.
The gang would cut phone lines causing the alarm to sound, but when a keyholder or security guard arrived it appeared everything was in order, and they would reset the alarm and leave, unaware the offenders were hiding nearby.
The gang would then break in and although the alarms sounded, the alarm company was either not aware or simply thought there was a fault and usually made straight for safes.
Worrall and Taylor admitted conspiracy to burgle at various locations between June 2011 and July 2012.
Taylor also admitted stealing two reels of telecommunications cable from Sherbourne Homes in Kingswinford.
Detective Constable Phillipa Metcalfe of West Mercia Police said: “While it was a sophisticated operation, the defendants became greedy, which ultimately led to their downfall.
“This was a long and complicated operation, involving a great deal of liaison between West Mercia Police and a number of different forces and we hope the result will act as deterrent to other offenders, who wrongly think commercial burglaries are victimless crimes, and are treated less seriously than domestic burglaries.”