Three brothers are among five men jailed for their part in burglaries across the Midlands, including a raid on a security guard delivering cash to a bank in Burntwood.
The gang were jailed for stealing high-powered vehicles, including Audis, Mercedes and a Volkswagen from houses and using them to commit offences including the £15,000 robbery at Barclays bank.
Stafford Crown Court heard that brothers Thomas, Lee and Gavin Cotterill, along with two other men, Adam Cheshire and Jake Bilboe, had targeted the security guard, as well as shops, garages and cash transit vehicles in a conspiracy to commit robberies and burglaries.
Mr Recorder Michael Elsom, sentencing, told the men: “This was a series of robberies and burglaries designed to enrich yourselves. There is little doubt there was a ready market for these high-value cars.
“This was a well-coordinated enquiry with diligent work from two police forces.”
High performance vehicles were used in the robbery of a security guard at Barclays on Cannock Road, where men in balaclavas got away with £15,000 on November 10, 2016. A circular saw was used to open a metal box and retrieve the money.
Another raid saw a security guard assaulted in Broad Street, Wolverhampton, on October 27, 2016, as he collected cash from parking machines. He was pushed to the ground, kicked and punched as the men got away with an estimated £700.
On the same day, just before 11pm, staff were threatened with a blade and forced to open a safe at the Spar shop in Stafford Street, Brewood. Cigarettes and £5,000 in cash were stolen.
In further burglaries in November 2016 stock was stolen and thousands of pounds of damage was caused at the Falcon filling station in Ivetsey Bank, near Wheaton Aston and the Nisa store in Stroud Avenue, Willenhall. The gang also stole an Audi from a garage in Walsall on November 16.
The following day, in a robbery at One Stop in Creswell Crescent, Walsall, the men wore masks to steal £3,490 from a cash transit collection at 2.20pm.
In an earlier raid on September 27 the men smashed a window at Tesco Express in Aldridge and stole spirits, using a VW and Audi to get away.
Gavin Cotterill, aged 33, of Clare Avenue, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, and Adam Cheshire, aged 21, of Castlebridge Gardens, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit burglary (dwellings) and conspiracy to commit burglary (commercial).
Thomas Cotterill, aged 23, of Castlebridge Gardens, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, and Lee Cotterill, aged 30 of Clare Avenue, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton; pleaded guilty to the same three offences at a hearing on April 12.
A fifth man, Jake Bilboe, aged 20, of Griffiths Drive, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary (dwellings).
- Lee Cotterill was sentenced to 10 years
- Thomas Cotterill was sentenced to 10 years
- Gavin Cotterill was sentenced to 11 years
- Adam Cheshire was sentenced to 12 years
- Jake Bilboe was sentenced to 7 years
Detectives from Staffordshire Police’s Major and Organised Crime team pieced together the conspiracy tracking mobile phone calls, examining CCTV and gathering forensic evidence from discarded clothing and litter, and intelligence.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Pete Cooke, said the investigation had proved challenging as the men were aware of police investigation techniques.
“They turned phones off during the commission of several of their crimes and conducted internet research to produce cloned number plates that matched similar, existing vehicles,” he said.
“They are dangerous men who took care to disguise themselves and were prepared to use violence to achieve their aims.
“This investigation is the culmination of a great deal of hard work, gathering intelligence and painstaking detection. We want to reassure our communities in Staffordshire that we will not tolerate this behaviour and will pursue criminals who believe they can profit from using fear and violence relentlessly.”