Seven men who formed a conspiracy to target expensive and high-performance cars in a series of burglaries and attempted burglaries at houses in North Staffordshire have been sentenced.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court was told Mohammed Qasim and four other men from Birmingham had enlisted two men from Stoke-on-Trent to help them steal the cars.
Qasim, aged 21, led Majid Rahman, Hamza Sharif, Faisal Zaman and Karshif Arshad – assisted by Steven Dawkins and Paul Jaggers who were involved in the subsequent handling of the stolen cars.
The court heard the men were involved in burglaries or attempted burglaries at houses in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme between 6 September and 3 November 2017.
Their typical method was to force entry to houses by snapping locks and carry out a tidy search for car keys, often targeting German makes.
Detectives pieced together the case after Qasim was arrested in Birmingham using DNA evidence recovered, phones seized and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).
Rahman, Sharif, Qasim and Arshad were linked to four offences in Newcastle-under-Lyme, on 6 September 2017, where an Audi S1 was stolen from Friendly Avenue and three further attempts were made to steal cars at Hempstalls Lane, Saunders Road and Valley View.
On 9 September the same men accompanied by Zaman and Dawkins stole a Seat Ibiza and Vauxhall Astra, and an Audi S3, in two burglaries in Fairbank Avenue, Oakhill, Stoke.
On 11 September Qasim, Rahman, Sharif and Zaman were linked to burglaries in Trent Valley Road, where a BMW 335D M Sport worth £50,000 was stolen, and Longley Road, Stoke, where a VW Golf worth £22,000. A further attempt was made in Chester Crescent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, where nothing was stolen.
On 4 October there were three attempted burglaries in Weston Coyney and on 31 October 2017 Qasim, Zaman and Arshad were linked to the theft of a red Audi Quattro in Lincoln Avenue, Stoke, and thefts of a VW Golf estate and white Seat, jointly worth £46,000, in Lionel Grove, Stoke, and a further attempted burglary in Bar Hill, Madeley.
Finally, on 3 November, Qasim and Arshad were linked to the theft of a VW Golf stolen in Sillitoe Place, an Audi RS7 stolen in Marina Drive, keys stolen in Abbots Way, and attempts made in Lodge Road and Kingsway.
Arshad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 30 May. Qasim and Zaman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at earlier hearings. Rahman and Sharif pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at earlier hearings. Dawkins admitted two charges of handling stolen goods and Jaggers one charge of handling.
Sentencing took place at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 31 May:
- Mohammed Qasim, aged 21, of York Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to two years four months imprisonment
- Faisal Zaman, aged 22, of Somerville Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to two years and three months
- Majid Rahman, aged 19, of Langley Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment
- Paul Jaggers, aged 27, of Milton Street, Stoke-on-Trent, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment
- Hamza Sharif, aged 19, of Wilton Road, Birmingham, was given a two-year sentence suspended for 18 months
- Kashif Arshad, aged 24, of Fox Hollies Road, Birmingham, was sentenced to a 12-month community order
- Steven Dawkins, aged 27, of Cobridge Road, Stoke-on-Trent, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months
Detective Inspector Adrian Webb, of Staffordshire Police, said: “These burglaries caused considerable concern for residents of north Staffordshire.
"The suspects were responsible for the theft of thousands of pounds worth of high value cars.
"It has taken a lengthy and meticulous investigation to arrest the group responsible and in doing so we have not seen a repeat of this scale of offending in north Staffordshire since.
"I’m grateful to my team and colleagues at the CPS for their attention to detail and persistence in bringing these men before the courts.”