A gang of six, who were caught on CCTV ransacking offices and businesses with axes and hammers, have been put behind bars.
The burglars raided more than 30 businesses and homes with the intent of stealing cash from their safes.
Pubs, restaurants, bus depots, convenience stores, social clubs and homes were all targeted between August and November 2019. The areas they hit included Wrexham, Oswestry and Chester.
The group was jailed for a total of 31 and a half years at Chester Crown Court on Thursday.
Gary Platt, 43, Kieran Platt, 25, Joseph Salla, 19, Joshua Wilkinson, 22, Lee Hodgin, 33, and Peter Mighall, 45, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
Detectives from Ellesmere Port CID linked the six men to the burglaries through mobile phone, automatic number plate recognition and CCTV evidence. Their crime spree was brought to an end on Thursday, November 7, 2019, when officers from Cheshire, Merseyside and the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit executed simultaneous search warrants at their homes in Wirral.
Hodgin was sentenced to six years and nine months, Gary and Kieran Platt were given six years, Salla and Wilkinson were jailed for four and a half years and Mighall was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. Following sentencing, Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, who led the investigation, said:
“Over a three-month period the gang went to great lengths to plan and co-ordinate more than 30 burglaries at houses, pubs, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses across the UK.”
He added: “The group also stole more than £45,000 and caused in excess of £35,000 worth of damage to business premises.
“All of the businesses targeted provide essential services to local communities, and the burglaries have had a profound effect on the owners and their staff.
“The gang had the audacity to burgle the same premises on a number of occasions and used a variety of techniques in a failed attempt to try to cover up their crimes, including concealing their identities and using cloned vehicles.”
The group used a high-powered Audi S4 car, to travel to and from businesses they burgled. They stole the vehicle whilst burgling a house in Barnston, Wirral. The gang stole number plates and used them on stolen vehicles when committing offences in an attempt to evade capture.