Two men from Coventry have been jailed for more than nine years after a nationwide crime spree netting thousands of pounds.
They were convicted of 19 convenience store raids from York to Cheshire and the midlands, and Bristol to Southsea and the Isle of Wight.
Scott Johnston, 35, from Lancia Close and Scott Warner, 33, from Missing Oak Close, Bedworth, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.
Warner was sentenced to 52 months for conspiracy to commit burglary and Johnston was sentenced to 56 months with an extra six months for dangerous driving, for which he will be disqualified for two years and will need to sit an extended retest.
Between 21 May and 17 July last year the pair targeted four Tesco Express and 15 Sainsbury Local convenience stores in the early hours of the morning. Wearing masks and dark clothing, they forced the main doors of the premises and ransacked the self-service tills for cash.
Johnston and Warner thought they could evade capture by travelling far and wide using their tried and trusted MO. Even though they had been arrested and bailed in other police force areas they brazenly continued their offending.
But a combination of Automated Number Plate Recognition work along with forensic and phone analysis linked them both to each raid.
Faced with the evidence against them, they had little choice other than to admit their guilt and the court accepted 12 guilty pleas each which covered all 18 burglaries. I am satisfied that they have been given custodial sentences.
An investigation has been launched in Coventry after a man was found lying unconscious on a street with a serious head injury.
He was found at 6:15 this morning in Hertford Place.
Police think there was a brawl involving more than 20 people, and are reviewing CCTV footage to find out what happened.
The 23-year-old remains in hospital.
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MTV Crashes: Fri 27th - Sat 28th May (Ricoh Arena, Coventry)
MTV Crashes Coventry will take over the Ricoh Arena this Friday and Saturday.
It’s the first time the MTV Crashes event has been staged in an arena. On stage there’ll be live music from chart topping DJ’s and singers.
The lineup on Saturday includes Basement Jaxx, Pete Tong, The Chainsmokers and Wilkinson and Kano.
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