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Gloucestershire Business News

Group sentenced for violent robberies which took place across four counties

Five people have been sentenced following a spree of violent robberies which took place across four counties in the autumn of 2019.

The results represent major success for Operation Pentagon, an ongoing crackdown by the Constabulary on organised criminals stealing high powered cars and using them to commit burglaries.

The gang in this case was made up of five men and a teenage boy. They were sentenced after appearing at Warwick Crown Court Thursday (May 27) for offending in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Thames Valley.

Chance Gill, 22 and of Tewkesbury Road in Eckington, Pershore was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at Domino's Pizza and Tesco in Southam plus conspiracy to burgle a dwelling.

Sean Taylor, 22 and of London Road in Gloucester was sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at Dominos.

Lee Morgan, 20 and of Bainbridge Road in Cheltenham was sentenced to five years and one month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at Domino's Pizza and Tesco in Southam plus conspiracy to burgle a dwelling.

Michael Smith, 19 and of Waterloo Street in Cheltenham was sentenced to two years and six months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Morgan Spiers, 22 and of Middle Littleton in Evesham was also sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

A 17-year-old boy from Cheltenham, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and is due to be sentenced on 28 June.

Officers first became aware of the group's offending on 23 September 2019 after Gill and Morgan targeted a property on Station Road in the Bleddington area of Chipping Norton stealing a high powered Audi S4 from the driveway before driving it to Winchcombe.

The following morning Gill and Morgan stole another another two Audis, a Q7 and second S4 from properties in the Luckington area of Chippenham before being driven back to Gloucestershire. The convoy of cars hit an ANPR camera around 90 minutes later before they were found parked up and then left at speed.

Collectively the group then smashed their way into Domino's Pizza on Ridge Road in Cirencester on 26 September in an attempt to steal a safe using stolen vehicles and straps.

This took place between 3:35am and 3.45am and saw the group go on a 10 minute spree which resulted in a subsequent amount of damage being caused at the takeaway after using pick axes and sledge hammers.

Officers were able to link the group to the incidents after it was found that the two stolen Audi's were being used and when the crimes also matched based on timings, the clothing worn by the men and their methods of entry.

On the 1 and 2 October the same group, apart from Sean Taylor, also committed a burglary at Tesco in Southam, Warwickshire. They entered the supermarket before using sledge hammers and a pick axe to attack the till area and steal a large quantity of cigarettes.

They left in the Audi Q7 and S4 and were pursued by Police and the National Police Air Service before abandoning the vehicles and being found hidden underneath a caravan. They were subsequently arrested before being charged.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Smith said: "I am pleased that we have been able to put the group behind bars as their criminal activity affected not only the businesses that they targeted but also employees and members of the public.

"They are brazen criminals who thought that they could offend across four counties of England but unfortunately for them we were able to catch them in the act after working with colleagues in Warwickshire to subsequently place individuals at various scenes through telecoms data, vehicle data, and forensic evidence.

"I hope this sentencing shows that actions like those of Gill, Taylor, Smith, Morgan, Spiers and the teenage boy will not be tolerated."

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