JAILED: Man stored stolen car for gang of robbers

A 34-year-old man who “garaged” a stolen car for a gang of armed robbers has been jailed for 21 months.

Wolverhampton Crown Court where the case was heard
Wolverhampton Crown Court where the case was heard

The Audi had been involved in at least three raids in 15 days, a jury heard.

Two masked men fled in the vehicle after an attempted robbery at the Carphone Warehouse branch on Alcester Road, Kings Heath on October 5 2017, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The same car was used in two raids on October 20, explained Mr Omar Majid, prosecuting.

The first of these was at the Admiral fun slots casino on Bristol Road South, Northfield, where staff were threatened by intruders who made off with cash, it was said.

Soon afterwards the gang struck at the Co-op branch in Quinton Road, Quinton and escaped with cash.

Police tracked the £17,000 Audi, which had been stolen from Dudley’s Merry Hill shopping centre and was on false plates, through vehicle recognition cameras until they lost it in Oldbury, the court heard.

Police swooped on the home of Trevor Holmes, in Bristnall Hall Road, Oldbury, on November 3 after the force helicopter spotted the Audi without number plates and partially concealed among a clump of trees on a service road behind the address.

Officers found an ignition key for the car at the home of the defendant along with a stolen Suzuki GSX motorcycle.

While £8,000 worth of cocaine was discovered concealed in a box on the top shelf of a downstairs cupboard.

The defendant admitted possession of the drugs but denied handling the stolen Audi and motorbike.

He was convicted of both offences following a trial.

Nr Mark Hemming, defending, said his client had previous convictions but there had been a break in his offending between 2014 and 2017.

“This set of offences is somewhat rogue when he was trying to go straight,” he said.

Holmes claimed the Audi key had been left at his address by an unnamed person he was doing business with.

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