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Oldbury metal thief jailed along with Black Country organised gang
1:27pm Monday 1st October 2012 in News
AN OLDBURY metal thief who was part of an organised who slole more than £31,000 worth of property from Black Country businesses has been jailed.
They gang, mostly from Bilston, were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today (28 September) to a total of five years and four months in prison following a covert investigation by West Midlands Police.
Kirk Garner, Causeway Green Road, admitted conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to steal with four others and was sentenced to eight months in prison.
The gang, led by 33-year-old Craig Everitt of Daley Road in Wolverhampton, systematically committed their crimes overnight or at weekends when no one was at the premises.
They would break into buildings and steal anything of worth including metal, diesel and other property, often causing thousands of pounds worth of damage along the way.
Eight separate incidents were included in the conspiracy charges but the men only pleaded guilty on the basis that they would admit just some of the crimes.
Garner, 32, was arrested when the gang struck in Brierley Hill when, on February 16, he and two others broke into Camis Group on Station Drive.
They were tracked by the police helicopter after activating a burglar alarm and were arrested after trying to scramble away up railway embankments.
Detective Inspector Darren Crutchley, who led the investigation, said "This was a group of organised career criminals, led by Craig Everitt, who would take them all out on a daily basis to commit crime.
"The men would steal anything of worth, with complete disregard for the damage they caused in the process.
"Through their network of underworld associates, the gang would make cash from their loot, while their victims were left to pick up the pieces.
"The thefts and the damage they caused had a massively disruptive impact on small businesses and the local community.
"A large police operation was put in place following the spate of thefts, with significant resources ploughed into tracking down the offenders.“ Stephen Price, from Evans and Reid Alloys Ltd, said: "The day after the burglary was absolutely chaotic we lost a lot of production that day.
"It wasn't just the cost of what they stole that affected the company; it was the impact in terms of lost time and the large increase in the amount of money we have had to spend on security since the crime.
"I'm glad they were caught and very glad indeed that they have been jailed for what they did."