A man from Rainham is amongst eight men who have been sentenced to a total of 55 years following investigations into a crime group that carried out cash machine thefts, burglaries and car thefts across the eastern region.
Walter Mitchell Junior, Shane Stanley, Walter Mitchell Senior, Levi Mitchell, William Mitchell, Sid Clark, Jack Mitchell and Ross Whitford were sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday 18 October.
Mitchell Junior was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to handle stolen goods on Tuesday 17 September. The other eight men previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy offences at an earlier date.
Scott McManus, 43, of Chapelfields, Stanstead Abbots, was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary on Tuesday 17 September. A jury were unable to reach a decision on conspiracy to handle stolen goods and we agreed to dismiss the case against him.
In April 2018, our Serious Crime Directorate launched an investigation into a series of cross border commercial and dwelling burglaries, car thefts and ATM thefts.
These offences spanned numerous counties including Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Thames Valley and London between 24 March 2018 and 5 March 2019.
The ATM offences we investigated the men for took place between February and August 2018 in Broxbourne, Corringham, West Kingsdown, South Ockendon, Rainham in London, Gravesend, Epsom, Hutton, Loughton, Pilgrims Hatch and Redbourn. They have admitted to nine of these.
Following these offences, specialist officers focused on the activities of a family living at Fern Hill caravan site in Harlow and their associates.
We then successfully secured powers to search properties in Brentwood, Harlow and Stansted Abbots on 5 March this year.
During these warrants, eight men were arrested with two more questioned over coming weeks.
They were quickly charged and continued to remain on remand in prison ahead of sentence.
Superintendent Andy Waldie, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:
‘These men were highly organised and dangerous, we believed they would put our officers and members of the public at risk of harm and violence in their attempts to escape.
‘They were able to get away from scenes quickly, leaving very little forensic opportunities before destroying the stolen vehicles they used.
‘Even when the whole ATMs were stolen, sometimes they were able to get away from scenes in under a minute.
‘We estimate that theft and damage costing more than a £1million was caused by this group of men over the course of a year.
‘The case file involved over 100 investigations including 35 commercial burglaries and burglaries across 14 towns and villages in the eastern region.
‘A 500-page timeline and presentation was compiled and presented to the Crown Prosecution Service as evidence.
‘The case was investigated by the Serious Crime Directorate, which used a variety of policing tactics including support from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.
‘Despite the challenges posed by this organised crime group across the region, we worked around the clock to collate an overwhelming amount of evidence against the Mitchells, Clark, Stanley and Whitford, who have since been jailed for a total of 55 years.”
Walter Mitchell Junior, 22, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received eight years custodial for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries, conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries, conspiracy to handle stolen goods and conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles;
Shane Stanley, 37, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a nine year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries and conspiracy to handle stolen goods;
Walter Mitchell Senior, 42, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a nine year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries and conspiracy to handle stolen goods;
Levi Mitchell, 35, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a seven year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;
William Mitchell, 30, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a seven year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;
Sid Clark, 32, of Broadfield Harlow, received a four year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;
Ross Whitford, 24, of Rock Lane, Hastings, received a four year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;
Jack Mitchell, 20, of Kingsmoor Road, Harlow, received a seven year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries.
Tommy Mitchell, 19, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, is due to be sentenced on Friday 25 October for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries, conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
The Met’s Flying Squad successfully sentenced five members of an Organised Crime Group for more than 50 offences across the South East, including 17 ATM thefts across London, Hertfordshire, Cambridge, Essex and Kent.
Alfie Smith, 41, of Staines Road West, Ashford, Middlesex, Alfie Stanley, 41, of Beech Drive, Cambridgeshire, Levi Smith, 36, of Yeldham Road, Halstead, and Kiah Roberts, 42, of Glamorgan Road, Ipswich, were jailed with their total custodial sentence reaching over 30 years.
Four men will also be sentenced on 6 December in connection with a series of cash machine thefts across Kent and Essex between 24 February and 22 July this year.
Adrian Gowers, 55, Derwent Way, Gillingham, Phillip Barnard, 25, High Street, Chelmsford, John Lee, 49, New Waverley Road, Basildon and David Eves, 48, Larch Road, Dartford all admitted charges of conspiracy to commit burglary.