Gang members who preyed on small businesses jailed

Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Three members of a gang who tried to steal a cash machine from a shop in Glemsford have been jailed.

Using a stolen pick-up truck, the trio battered open the front of Broadway Stores and Post Office in the early hours of November 3.

It was one of a series of night-time raids at rural businesses across three counties. The gang included Alan Loveridge, 47, of Moorsfield, Great Cornard.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Tuesday how the men failed to dislodge the cash machine and fled empty-handed. The ram-raid caused £15,000 of damage.

The gang also raided village stores and post offices in Peasenhall and Pulham Market, and two businesses in Great Tey in Essex.

Loveridge, together with Michael Smith, 29, of Mill Lane, Ellingham, and Steven Allum, 28, of Henry Street, Debenham, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Loveridge was jailed for five years, Smith for five-and-a-half years and Allum for four years.

Mr Recorder Gerard Pounder said: “This was a commercial criminal enterprise.

“Small businesses were targeted, businesses which, by their nature, cannot afford the same degree of security as larger stores.”

The court heard the gang members were eventually tracked down through DNA evidence left at the crime scenes.