A gang of metal thieves who targeted businesses across the region, smashing a hole through the wall of one firm before fleeing with their haul of aluminium on a dinghy, were today behind bars.
The gang are believed to be behind the theft of £31,000 worth of metal and property from businesses in the region.
The six men, led by Craig Everitt of Bilston, stole metal, diesel and other goods, often causing thousands of pounds worth of damage along the way.
Five of the gang were arrested following a 40-minute police chase after they triggered an alarm at a business in Brierley Hill.
They were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday after admitting conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to steal.
The court heard how Everitt and another member of the gang targeted canalside firm Evans & Reid Alloys Ltd in Bilston.
They smashed their way through the wall of the business so they could load aluminium blocks onto to a dinghy on an adjacent canal but fled when they heard the police helicopter overhead.
Everitt, aged 33, of Daley Road in Bradley, and Michael Scanlon, 32, of Hinchcliffe Avenue, Bilston, were both jailed for 21 months at court yesterday.
Also jailed were Everitt’s brother Steven, 30, of Mount Road, Portobello, Bilston for 14 months and Kirk Garner, 32, of Causeway Green Road, Oldbury who was given eight months .
Meanwhile Paul Greensill, 19, of Mervyn Road, Bradley, received a 12-month suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.
Peter Williams, 26, of Ashfield Road, Bradley, Bilston was fined £700.