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The faces of three car thieves arrested at McDonald's drive-thru after crime spree worth £500,000

These are the faces of the three men linked to multiple car thefts in the region - mugshots taken shortly after they were arrested at a McDonald's Drive-Thru.

The full scale of their offending became clear when police analysed their phones.

Rory Fitzgerald, 24, Harry Beresford, 21, and Zachary Shellis, 25 were linked to more than 20 stolen cars in a crime spree worth around half a million pounds.

But as they ordered food at a drive-thru on Bristol Road, Birmingham, officers swept in and arrested them.

At the point of arrest, police didn't know the scale of their offending.

The three men were caught after trying to open garage doors in Tessall Lane, Birmingham, just before midnight on November 17, 2020.

The men made off in a black Peugeot with a distinctive ‘space saver’ wheel on the back.

The vehicle was picked up by night-time traffic patrols 30 minutes later, who followed it to the drive-thru on Bristol Road.

All three were then arrested on suspicion of burglary and the mugshots were reportedly taken shortly afterwards.

Police found balaclavas and gloves in the car and examination of their phones revealed photos and video of them posing with stolen cars and driving them away.

The trio have now been handed lengthy prison sentences.

Fitzgerald of Walsall Road admitted conspiracy to steal cars and burgle homes and was jailed for eight years; Beresford of Dulwich Road admitted his role in the plot and was jailed for more than six years; Shellis also pleaded guilty and was handed a sentence of five-and-a-half years.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kevin Cockayne from our Force CID, said: “After being arrested in the drive-thru we initially charged them with three offences – but the full scale of their offending became clear when we analysed their phones.

“They broke into homes for keys to high-performance cars like VW Golfs, Mercedes-Benz and BMWs. No victims were confronted but they caused damage to homes, worry for victims and lots of inconvenience.”

Police recovered 12 of the stolen cars, including one of two Mercedes-Benz taken from the same Bromsgrove driveway on October 2, 2020.

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