Birmingham gang stole Audis, BMWs and Mercedes then bragged on TikTok

Left: Morgan and Allen (right) Credit: West Midlands Police

A gang of Birmingham vehicle thieves who stole high-value cars across the West Midlands bragged about their crimes on TikTok.

The group of six, made up of four men and two teenagers, stole 45 vehicles worth more than £1 million, broadcasting their crimes on the social media site.

Between March 2022 and May 2023 the thieves targeted houses across Birmingham, Stourbridge, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire - stealing keys to high value cars like BMWs, Audis and Mercedes.

The group filmed their crimes and posted them on social media sites.

When officers examined their phones they found recordings of the burglaries being committed, videos of the cars stolen and internet searches of their registration numbers to get their value.

Brazen thieves

In one TikTok video, posted on one of the gang’s accounts in February 2023, they can be seen wearing masks and breaking into a property before stealing a Hyundai and then posting a video of hitting speeds in excess of 100 mph.

The thieves were brazen and gave little regard for their victims, they went equipped with weapons and at a burglary in Kings Norton in October 2022 threatened the homeowner saying they'd stab him if he didn't hand over his car keys.

Detectives from Birmingham’s Serious and Organised Crime team began an investigation into the series of car key burglaries.

Two of the gang who were only 16-years-old at the time were arrested in May 2023 after a member of the public reported a car and occupants acting suspiciously in Groveley Lane in Birmingham.

When the car was searched they found pepper spray, balaclavas and another set of car keys belonging to a stolen BMW.

The gang were eventually arrested in June 2023. 

Phones seized

As part of their arrests mobile phones were seized and when examined, found to be filled with videos of the gang at the scenes of the burglaries and driving the stolen vehicles at speeds in excess of 100 mph along residential roads. 

One of the gang, Josh Reid, was found to have a distinctive tattoo on his left hand that matched to TikTok videos he’d filmed of himself, placing him and his accomplices at the scene of the crimes.

They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, September 25.

Left: Reid and O'Keefe-Clancy (right) Credit: West Midlands Police

They were jailed as follows: •    Joshua Reid, aged 25, sentenced to four years six months•    Cody Morgan, aged 25, sentenced to three years four months•    Connor O'Keefe-Clancy, aged 19, sentenced to five years•    Ryan Allen, aged 21, sentenced to four years three months

One boy, 16, was sentenced to four years and six months, and a second teenager, also 16, received a two year Youth Rehabilitation Order and will be tagged for one year receiving an overnight curfew.

'Their crimes have had a wide-ranging effect'

Detective Constable Kenny Crawford, from Birmingham's Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: "These offences were a series of brazen, planned and targeted crimes where vehicles were stolen to order and at times sophisticated equipment was used not only to commit the offences but also to block and locate trackers so they could be removed. 

"Before committing these crimes the group would research potential locations on their mobile phones even recording images or videos of the attacked properties as well as checking the value of the vehicles they intended to steal.

"These six offenders have demonstrated a complete lack of remorse for their actions and even recorded their crimes before uploading them onto TikTok for views.

"Their crimes have had a wide-ranging effect on their victims some of which have described it as devastating not only to their home and family life but also in their everyday life with some of them in fear of leaving their houses even to attend hospital appointments.

"The gang didn't lead lavish lifestyles, with many of them still living with parents. As part of our investigation we recovered a number of the stolen vehicles.

"We hope their sentences bring some closure to the victims and sends a message to criminals across the West Midlands that we will investigate and bring offenders to justice."