Sent to prison following a series of supermarket robberies
Three men have been sent to prison following a series of supermarket robberies across Staffordshire and the West Midlands area.
Amandeep Singh, aged 26, from Salisbury Road, Birchfield, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob Co-op stores in October 2013.
He has today been sentenced alongside his co-accused Ryan Landon Shaw, aged 20, from Sedgebourne Way, Northfield in Birmingham, who previously admitted nine offences of conspiracy to rob and Jani Joseph Wright, aged 25, of Conybere Street, Birmingham, who also previously admitted ten offences of conspiracy to rob.
At Stafford Crown Court today Singh was jailed for four-and-a-half-year years, Shaw to four-and-a-half-years and Wright to five years.
All three men were charged in connection with 15 robberies at Co-op stores across the Midlands during a 10-month period in 2012.
Shaw and Wright were arrested in Bridgnorth on 31 October 2012. Singh was arrested the following day, 1 November 2012, in Bartley Green, Birmingham.
The arrests were part of a cross county operation into the robberies, led by Staffordshire Police. All four forces of the West Midlands area (Staffordshire, West Mercia, Warwickshire and West Midlands Police forces), supported by the Regional Intelligence Unit, collaborate to target those individuals and groups causing significant harm across the area.
During the incidents Co-op stores were targeted shortly before closing time. Upon entry offenders were aggressive towards staff, intimidating them and forcing them into back rooms. One member of staff was then forced to open up the safe and put the contents into a bag. The offenders then left the scene.
Whilst no physical injuries were caused, many staff were left traumatised, some for many weeks after the offence had taken place.
As part of the investigation an appeal for help from the public was featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme, which showed CCTV footage of the group committing the robbery at Cheslyn Hay. The public support through the programme provided a significant breakthrough. The dedication of the investigation team, some excellent cross- border support from neighbouring forces and close working with a very supportive Co-Operative management team helped deliver today’s result.
DCI Paul Clews, Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Today’s sentencing, following a detailed investigation, is to be welcomed and sends out a strong message – this area’s Forces will work closely together to ensure those causing significant harm will be caught, charged and put before the court. These crimes were committed against hard-working members of our communities and left several of the victims traumatised. I hope the prison sentences in some way help to bring closure.
“I personally would like to thank the Co-Operative management team who have been excellent in their support of the investigation, and this team work has culminated in the results we see today. The complexity of the operation meant regional co-operation was as important a factor as ever – utilising resources from our neighbouring forces in West Mercia, Warwickshire and the West Midlands. The continued support we provide each other is vital in ensuring all offenders to such crimes realise they will be brought to justice.”