By Connie Osborne Tuesday 22 October 2013 Updated: 22/10 12:31
A GANG of burglars who smashed their way into almost 40 homes including several in Redditch and Wythall have been jailed for a total of 42 years.
John O’Shaughnessy, aged 25 and of Playdon Grove in Kings Heath, Christopher Hands, aged 26 and of no fixed address, and Paul King, aged 24 and of Partons Road in Kings Heath, used sledgehammers, axes and tools to force entry into homes in Wythall, Solihull, Warwickshire and West Mercia.
Warwick Crown Court heard how they hit the addresses between February and June last year during a four-month spree which saw them steal cars, cash, jewellery and computers.
On one occasion they threatened a resident with a sword and eight of their victims were firearms license holders - hand-picked by the trio for their shotguns and ammunition.
They carried out their first raid on the morning of February 10 last year at a home in Beoley and hours later used ladders to scale a hedgerow at another Redditch home where they left with laptops, cameras and jewellery stuffed inside pillow cases.
Over the following months they struck at homes in Wythall, Shirley, Balsall Common, Hockley Heath, Rowney Green, Selly Oak, Knowle and Dorridge and at the height of their offending were carrying out three burglaries a day.
Accomplice Maxwell-Duffy, aged 22 and of Francis Road in Acocks Green, admitted being involved in the burglaries on June 12, plus another two days earlier and was jailed for six years.
A fifth man, 21-year-old Mohammed O’Neill from Staveley Road in Kings Heath, was found guilty of a Hall Green and Earlswood break-in after a trial on February 4 and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
Det Con Dave Bailey from Solihull Police Force CID, said: "Our inquiry has put several dangerous men behind bars for a considerable period of time; these are men who thought nothing of brandishing axes and machetes in the faces of terrified victims in order to steal from them.
"This was a cross-border investigation in which we worked alongside CID colleagues in Warwickshire and West Mercia; through extensive phone, forensics and CCTV analysis we were able to link O’Shaughnessy, King and Hands to tens of burglaries in the West Midlands and over the borders in Warwickshire and West Mercia.
"This case illustrates that West Midlands Police’s serious acquisitive crime team is well equipped to tackle organised criminals who operate across county borders."
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