Six men who were arrested in October after a cross-county burglary spree have been sentenced to a total of more than 20 years in prison.
Months of investigations by police culminated in the sentencing of the six defendants at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, January 4. The men, all from Northampton, had admitted 19 offences at a previous hearing in November.
Darren Burnett, 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and theft of motor vehicle and was sentenced to four years and two months.
Anthony Cowdell, 24, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and theft of motor vehicle and was sentenced to four years and six months to be served concurrently.
Craig Bosworth, 28, pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to two years and six months in custody.
Paul Grimbley, 25, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft of motor vehicle and was sentenced to 12 months and four months to be served concurrently.
Gavin Burnett, 31, and Carl Townsend, 30, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and were each sentenced to four years and six months.
The investigation, named Operation Embargo started in May 2012 following a series of commercial burglaries in Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties.
Commercial properties like supermarkets were targeted at night times, with the offenders stealing quantities of cigarettes, while also targeting ATM machines at locations including the M1 service station.
When committing the offences, which were carried out April and June 2012, the defendants used cars that they had stolen from other locations. They used cloned or stolen number plates on the cars in order to thwart attempts by the police to identify them.
The offences dated between April and June 2012 where a Londis store in High Street, Hardingstone was broken into and cigarettes stolen.
Detective Inspector Lorraine Gordon, who led the investigation, said: “We are satisfied with the sentences that were handed out. This was an organised criminal gang who committed numerous offences with complete disregard for people’s property.
“They caused thousands of pounds worth of damage affecting businesses and the local community. These sentences should send a warning to other criminal gangs that we will come down hard on those who think they can get away with crime.”