Hayes and Southall men in gang that preyed on businesses

They include defendants from Hayes and Southall.

The operation was in response to a series of burglaries committed by an organised criminal group.

In many of the offences, the suspects used stolen high-end vehicles, such as Range Rovers, to hit commercial premises, often ripping out cash machines or stealing jewellery or cash boxes before driving off.

Stolen number plates were used to avoid detection.

The four men pleaded guilty to being involved in a combined total of 14 burglaries and 33 thefts as well as three attempted burglaries and an attempted theft across London and the South East.

Three of the four were arrested after they were caught stealing cash boxes from an Esso petrol station and Tesco Express outlet in Reading.

The three arrested were:

William Connors, 29, of Exmouth Road, Hayes;

Darren Eastaugh, 36, of Bedfont Close, Feltham;

Anthony Rodwell, 33, of Laurel Gardens, Ashford.

A fourth man, Sebastian Gnyp, 37, of Allenby Road, Southall, was arrested later. His room was searched and a device used to block trackers in stolen cars was recovered.

The estimated value of the thefts was more than £1.2m and the damage caused estimated at £1.8m.

The loss of earnings to business owners forced to shut for repairs totalled almost £1.5m.

At Isleworth Crown Court, Connors and Eastaugh were jailed for six years and six months, while Rodwell was jailed for five years and 10 months. Gynp was jailed for three years.

Det Con Pippa Bregazzi, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “They had absolutely no thought for the victims of their crimes.”

Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times