Four members of a gang that used stolen high-end vehicles to carry out a string of ram-raids to steal more than £1.2m have been jailed.
Anthony Rodwell, 33, Darren Eastaugh, 36, William Connors, 29, and Sebastian Gnyp, 37, caused around £1.8m worth of damage and cost business owners an estimated £1.5m in lost earnings after carrying out burglaries across London and the south of England.
CCTV footage released by police shows how they used stolen Range Rovers and Land Rovers to repeatedly reverse into the entrances to jewellers, shops and banks in attacks lasting only a few minutes.
The gang members, dressed all in black with balaclavas or hoods, used sledgehammers and angle grinders to smash open tills or jewellery cabinets and attached metal chains to tear ATMs and safes from the buildings.
They then made their getaway in stolen high-end vehicles, including Audis, BMWs Jaguars and an Alfa Romeo, fitted with stolen number plates.
Rodwell, Eastaugh, and Connors were caught stealing cash boxes from an Esso petrol station and Tesco Express in Reading in the early hours of 19 August last year after using a stolen Range Rover to ram into the shop.
Gnyp, from Ealing, west London, was arrested later and police found a device used to block trackers in stolen cars in a search of his room.
Image: (Clockwise) Sebastian Patryk Gnyp, Darren Eastaugh, William Bill Connors and Anthony Dylan Rodwell The four men admitted being involved in a total of 14 burglaries, 33 thefts, three attempted burglaries and an attempted theft between 14 November 2021 to 19 August 2022 in London, Dorset, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.
Judge Simon Davis jailed Eastaugh, from Hounslow, west London, and Connors, from Hayes, also in west London, for six and a half years on Thursday.
Rodwell, from Ashford, Surrey, was sentenced to five years and 10 months imprisonment and Gnyp was handed a three-year jail term at Isleworth Crown Court.
“Over a period of 10 months these defendants attacked and burgled commercial premises at night time,” the judge said.
“They used vehicles to ram the entrances of the premises, allowing the members of the gang access in order to steal.
“This was a sophisticated criminal enterprise, there was a good and significant degree of planning and the financial gains were undoubtedly substantial.”
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The judge said members of the public who witnessed the attacks were left “shocked”, telling the gang: “You were determined. The attacks were loud and aggressive.”
He added: “Enormous destruction and disruption was caused and some businesses were closed for lengthy periods, with staff laid off and people deprived of their services.”
Detective Constable Pippa Bregazzi, from the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad, said the footage from the ram-raids demonstrated “the ruthlessness in which the men used the cars as battering rams to access shops tills and cash machines”.
“They had absolutely no thought for the victims of their crimes and it was clear they would have continued to target vehicle owners and shops across the south of England unless they were stopped,” she said.
“I am glad they have now been brought to justice and will spend a lengthy time in jail.”
Detective Inspector Ari Yoganathan added: “Thankfully no members of the public were injured during any of these offences, but millions of pounds worth of damage and lost earnings were caused by this crime spree.
“Our officers collaborated with colleagues from other police forces and were supported by our partners in the vehicle industry to disrupt this dangerous and disruptive organised crime group.”