Criminal gang jailed after convictions for spree of thefts including destructive ram raid in Long Melford
A criminal gang responsible for a spree of destructive ram-raids, including a devastating overnight burglary of a Long Melford newsagents, has been jailed.
Jimmy Broomfield, 32, of Yeldham Road, Halstead, became the final member of an organised criminal network to be sentenced for a series of thefts that occurred last year, after he received a five-year prison term at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday.
Four others – Levi Smith, 36, of Yeldham Road, Halstead; Alfie Smith, 41, of Staines Road West, Ashford; Alfie Stanley, 41, of Beech Drive, Cambridgeshire; and Kiah Roberts, 42, of Glamorgan Road, Ipswich – were given sentences of varying length last month.
Each gang member was convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal motor vehicles, relating to 52 offences between March and November 2018, including 23 burglaries, 17 cash machine thefts and 12 vehicle thefts.
One of their most notorious crimes occurred on Sunday, October 14, when Long Melford residents were left in shock after waking up to find a huge hole punched through the front of the village’s McColl’s store.
CCTV footage of the incident showed five men using a Claas telehander digger, which had been stolen from a farm in Pentlow, to smash into the shop in Hall Street shortly before 3am, only narrowly avoiding hitting a resident who was asleep in the flat above.
The digger then ripped out an ATM machine and loaded it on to a black Nissan Navara, before the thieves fled the scene .
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable John Richards, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This group of individuals showed a complete disregard for the owners and occupiers of the properties they stole from.
“Moreover, the danger they put the public and themselves in while committing these ram-raids was mindless. It is only through sheer luck that nobody was injured.
“They were responsible for causing large amounts of damage to local businesses resulting in large financial losses, and on many occasions the damage to property has been such that the business had to close down, causing a loss of jobs.
“It is imperative that we continue to show organised criminal groups that this type of offending will not go unnoticed and will be dealt with robustly.
“I would like to thank colleagues from Essex and Kent Police for their assistance throughout this investigation.”
More by this authorThomas Malina