£300,000 Black Country burglary gang locked up after cars, cash and jewellery stolen

Members of a Black Country crime gang have been locked up for a combined total of more than 20 years after £300,000 worth of cars, cash and jewellery were stolen.

Members of the gang jailed for car key burglaries. Left to right, top: Jordan Timmins, Nathan Sutton, Mitchell Price. Bottom: Husnain Mahmood, Connor Summers
Members of the gang jailed for car key burglaries. Left to right, top: Jordan Timmins, Nathan Sutton, Mitchell Price. Bottom: Husnain Mahmood, Connor Summers

The gang were known as "The Grippers" due to their preferred method of using mole grips to snap door locks and struck around 30 times between March and December 2019.

Six members were convicted after detectives linked them to dozens of car key burglaries in the Black Country but one of them avoided a custodial sentence.

The oldest member of the gang to have been convicted is aged 23. The youngest, aged 17, has been released after spending nearly two years on remand.

Around £300,000 worth of cars, cash and jewellery were stolen as the gang rampaged their way into homes across Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley.

The cars they took were often driven dangerously and used to commit further crimes, sometimes displaying false number plates, but many were recovered and returned to their owners according to West Midlands Police.

The force said its force priorities team worked diligently to find those responsible as their actions "caused distress and misery in our communities".

"We linked them to the break-ins through extensive phone work - including calls, texts and use of Facebook messenger - DNA and fingerprint exhibits, clothing and tools were recovered, plus extensive CCTV work," the force said in a statement.

Five men and a teenager were charged with conspiracy to burgle and steal.

On June 15, they all pleaded guilty to various roles in the conspiracy and were sentenced last Friday, with two of the gang locked up for seven years.

Jordan Timmins, aged 23, from Rutland Road, Wednesbury, was sentenced to seven years in prison and was disqualified from driving for five years for conspiracy to burgle, aggregated vehicle taking and dangerous driving.

Nathan Sutton, aged 19, from Borwick Avenue, West Bromwich, was sentenced to seven years in prison and was disqualified from driving for five years for conspiracy to burgle and dangerous driving.

Connor Summers, aged 23, from Wyndmill Crescent, West Bromwich, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and disqualified from driving for two years for burglary, attempted burglary and dangerous driving.

Mitchell Price, aged 20, from Bilston Road, Wednesbury, was sentenced to two years in a youth offenders institute for burglary and handling stolen goods.

Husnain Mahmood, aged 19, from Great Bridge Street, West Bromwich was given an 18-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours of rehabilitation for theft of a motor vehicle and dangerous driving.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spent 652 days in prison on remand for conspiracy to burgle.

Det Con Danny Wilson, from West Midlands Police's force priorities team, said: “The actions of this gang wreaked havoc across the Black Country causing fear and distress to residents and misery in our communities.

“Their actions were ruthless and left many of their victims feeling terrified in their own homes – a place which should be where they feel safest.

“It was clearly a shocking experience for them and I hope the fact the offenders have been handed these jail terms will provide some comfort.

“We’re committed to tackling those who pose a risk in our communities, and I hope this action sends a clear message – we will find those intent on a life of crime and put them before the courts.”

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