Armed police from Northamptonshire caught a gang of six armed robbers in a high-speed pursuit on the M1, it has been revealed after the men were jailed for a total of nearly 40 years.
The gang had terrified three students during a gun-point burglary in Nottingham. After the attack, they fled the city heading for London but were tracked by CCTV and ANPR cameras.
They were caught by armed police on the M1 in Northamptonshire where officers recovered a gun and stolen items.
In a statement issued by Nottinghamshire Police, a spokesperson said: "The gang drove up from South East London on Wednesday, March 11 to raid a shared property in Gedling Grove, which they believed to contain large amounts of cash and designer clothing.
"After ringing the doorbell at around 11pm the men pointed a gun in the face of the young woman who opened the front door and demanded to know the whereabouts of £10,000 in cash they’d heard about on social media," the spokesperson said.
"Armed with a handgun, an axe, a machete, a hammer and a knife, they then forced their way into the property and began a frantic search of rooms.
"They left the house soon afterwards with only a handful of designer clothes, trainers and a small amount of cash.
"The gang then headed back to London, unaware that quick-thinking officers from Nottinghamshire Police were already on to them," the spokesperson said.
The van and car they had travelled up in had both been spotted on CCTV and were now being tracked by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
The vehicles were later pulled over and arrested by armed police on the M1 motorway in Northamptonshire. Officers recovered a gun and the stolen items at the scene.
The men all appeared at Nottingham Crown Court this week and pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. The men were Jack Malvisi, 29, of Chertsey Road, Twickenham; Luca Malvisi, 21, of Chertsey Road, Twickenham; Reece Smith, 24, of Fryern Close, Chandler’s Ford; Benjamin Hinnell, 29, of Mortimer Way, North Baddesley, Southampton; Darriken D’Rella,22, of Sadler Close, Mitcham; Mcauley Case, 23, of Fulmer Close, Twickenham.
"Jack and Luca Malvisi were sentenced to seven years and four months, and six years and eight months respectively," the spokesperson said.
"Smith received six years and four months, whilst Case received six years and ten months.
"D’Rella received five years and two months, and an additional 12 months for a separate drugs offence. Finally Hinnell received six years and ten months."
Detective Constable Gabriella Hennessy, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a particularly nasty offence that must have been absolutely terrifying for the victims. I can only imagine the sense of fear these young people must have felt as their property was ransacked.
“This brazen gang of cowards thought they could travel to Nottingham and take what they wanted by force. Unfortunately for them they hadn’t reckoned on the skill and professionalism of the quick-thinking officers who rushed to the scene and immediately began investigating nearby CCTV cameras.
“Within minutes they had identified the attackers, their vehicles, and the direction of their escape. This allowed us to track them on ANPR cameras until they were pulled over by colleagues in Northamptonshire. All in all this this was a fantastic team effort that allowed us to take this gang into custody before they’d even arrived home. I hope this case will also serve as a warning to anyone else considering committing these kinds of offences: we will find you and you will go to prison for a long time.”