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Londis, Hockley Road, Tamworth

POLICE in Tamworth are appealing to the public for witnesses following an early morning burglary where cigarettes, alcohol and cash were stolen.

The burglary took place this morning, Friday 11 November, at 2.50am, at the Londis store on Hockley Road, Wilnecote.

The offenders, wearing hoods and gloves, forced their way into the store.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information that could assist officers in their investigation should contact police on 101, quoting incident 79 of 17 November.

You can also report information about crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

police car crimes numberplate

POLICE in Tamworth are investigating a series of thefts of fuel from three petrol stations in the area.

The incidents took place between 3.05pm and 3.40pm on 8 November at Tesco in High Street, Dosthill, the Co-op on Tame Valley Industrial Estate in Wilnecote and Sainsbury’s in Bitterscote Drive, Bonehill.

The driver of a silver Vauxhall Astra, using stolen number plates, filled containers with diesel at each location and drove off without paying a total of £278.75. It is believed another two people were in the vehicle at the time.

The suspect is described as a white man in his late 30s to early 40s and was wearing a hooded camouflage jacket and sunglasses.

Chief Inspector Ashley Farrington said: “The number plates used in these thefts were stolen from a car in Fazeley Road earlier the same day.

“Anyone with information that could help our investigation is urged to call 101 quoting incident number 520 of 8 November or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Police a the scene of the incident

A 15-year-old boy has been sentenced to a four month Detention and Training Order after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, as well as driving without a licence and insurance.

The incident happened near to the McDonald’s restaurant on Beauchamp Industrial Park, Wilnecote shortly after midnight on 19 October.

The incident was initially reported incorrectly by some media outlets as a stabbing, but this was not the case.

The first half of a Detention and Training Order is served in custody, the second half is served in the community.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Newcastle Youth Court on 14 November.

The court heard that he had driven a van which struck an 18-year-old man, causing serious head injuries.

The victim was left in a critical condition but is thankfully making a steady recovery.

vehicle crimes

STAFFORDSHIRE police are warning motorists to be on their guard following a recent spate of thefts from vehicles in the Tamworth area.

Between 6 November and 11 November there were 11 reported incidents where vehicles were broken into at various locations. In many cases the vehicles had been left unlocked.

Items stolen include cash, tools, a laptop computer, an iPad, iPod and a pair of binoculars. In two cases, number plates were also stolen.

Chief Inspector Ashley Farrington said: “A number of these incidents were opportunist thefts. I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your vehicle is locked and the alarm is activated when it is left unattended, even if just for a short time. Also, never leave valuables in your vehicle.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101.

You can also report information about crime by contacting the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Six guns seized and five arrested in space of 24 hours

SIX firearms have been recovered by West Midlands Police across Birmingham in the space of just 24 hours – and five people arrested – as the force intensifies its focus on anyone linked to gang crime in the city.

The seizures include a loaded revolver found in a 16-year-old lad’s waistband.

He was one of three people detained from a BMW 1-Series in Old Horns Crescent, Great Barr, just after midnight (15 Nov) after they were spotted by officers acting suspiciously.

The 28-year-old driver and passengers aged 16 and 17 were arrested; all three remain in custody for questioning.

A loaded Colt pistol, a knife, gloves and a balaclava were all recovered from the car.

A loaded Colt pistol was recovered after a car was stopped in Great Barr

A loaded Colt pistol was recovered after a car was stopped in Great Barr. Credit: West Midlands Police

It follows a dawn raid by the force’s Organised Crime & Gangs Team on Tuesday morning that resulted in an 8mm Baikal handgun, 36 rounds of ammunition, and a sawn-off double barrelled shotgun being recovered from a flat in Billesley.

A 47-year-old man has since been charged with possessing guns and bullets.

And armed WMP officers teamed up with the Regional Organised Crime Unit to swoop on an address in Kings Norton yesterday afternoon where they arrested a 26-year-old man and uncovered a revolver and drugs. He is also in police custody for questioning.

Elsewhere, a 26-year-old man was arrested at 2.45pm from an address in Westfield Road, Kings Heath, and a sawn-off shotgun recovered, while another shotgun was seized by police after a member of the public found it at a property in Wood Lane, Erdington.

West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Rachel Jones said the seizures and arrests send out a strong message to anyone involved in gun crime.

She added: “We’ve taken six viable firearms off the streets of Birmingham in a single day…that’s six less lethal barrelled weapons in the hands of criminals. In all likelihood this work will have prevented serious criminality and potentially a fatal shooting.

“This activity should people in no doubt over our commitment to tackle people who pose the greatest threat to our community. If you have a gun, if you’re storing a gun out of mis-placed loyalty, we will come after you. And there are no excuses; you face many years in jail.

“We are currently supporting a national firearms surrender and I’d encourage anyone in possession of a firearm, or knows where one is being kept, to contact us so that it can be disposed of safely.”

To report suspicions of organised crime, or for help and advice on exiting gangs, visit the West Midlands Police website.

white ribbon

TAMWORTH men are being encouraged to help put a stop to violence against women by pledging their support to this year’s White Ribbon Campaign.

The White Ribbon Campaign is a worldwide movement calling on men to stand together and say no to domestic abuse and violence against women.  Its key focus is on educating and engaging with men on these issues.  Although this is a minority of men, this violence impacts on thousands of others every year, in all walks of life.

Now the men of Tamworth are being called on to do their bit once more for the White Ribbon Campaign.

Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Each year, the campaign urges men and boys to wear a ribbon for one or two weeks, starting from November 20 and including the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women on November 25. Women often wear them as well.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Community Safety team, staff at the council, police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service staff and other agencies will be wearing the ribbon in support the campaign. Tamworth Rugby team will also be wearing the ribbons and sharing the anti-violence message.

Tamworth Rugby team wearing the ribbons and sharing the anti-violence message.

Tamworth Rugby team wearing the ribbons and sharing the anti-violence message.

Ribbons can be collected from the community safety team at Marmion House.

Cllr Daniel Cook, Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “As men, we need to stand up against violence to women and make a pledge that we will never commit, condone or stay silent about this crime.

“White Ribbon UK was founded in 2007 and the aim of the campaign is to encourage men to stand up against violence to women, to end a culture which accepts violent behaviour towards women, and we would encourage all men in Tamworth to once more join us in this.”

More information on White Ribbon can be found on their website: www.whiteribbon.org.uk/

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and deputy Sue Arnold meet six of the new custody visitors.

ELEVEN new Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) will be welcomed into the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner – boosting their numbers to just under 50.

The latest ICV recruits underwent a thorough training course and briefing following a successful application process.

Six have already passed their training, with five due to complete shortly. They were be dispatched across Staffordshire, following familiarisation training.

The 47 ICVs are appointed by the PCC to check on the well-being of people held in custody by Staffordshire Police.  They make regular, unannounced visits to custody sites throughout the year.

Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: ‘Volunteers play a huge part in society and local communities.

‘Independent Custody Visitors are central to ensuring an open and transparent police service. They provide an invaluable and understated service.

‘I am delighted to welcome our new members and wish them every success in their roles.’

The visitors work to a strict code of conduct and are fully trained before they embark on their special duties.

They work in pairs and can check police cells – where they are granted access to detainees – at any time of the day or night to make sure custody rules are being observed.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and deputy Sue Arnold meet six of the new custody visitors.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and deputy Sue Arnold meet six of the new custody visitors.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold added: ‘Independent Custody Visitors make a difference, not just to people in custody, but in promoting public confidence in the system which is essential to making Staffordshire safer.

‘We are now close to breaking the 50 barrier, which is wonderful.

‘It just goes to show how dedicated and committed our volunteers are to making Staffordshire a safer and better place for all.’

Zak Clarke

A TAMWORTH man has been jailed for his part in a series of burglaries where high-powered cars were targeted in south Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

Zak Clark was sentenced to four years eight months imprisonment at Stafford Crown Court.

rFour other men were previously sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on October 20.

Jimmy Cutler and Adam Gould all entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit burglary at an earlier hearing at Stafford Crown Court. Philip Thompson pleaded guilty to burglary of commercial premises and handling stolen goods.

Heath Moran pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, dangerous driving and theft of petrol.

Clark, aged 23, of Elizabeth Drive, Tamworth, also pleaded guilty but failed to appear for sentencing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Clark was sentenced on 26 October.

Evidence was gathered after one of the men dropped a mobile phone at the scene of one of the burglaries and they chatted about it on Facebook.

READ MORE: Four Tamworth men jailed for stealing high-powered cars in burglaries 

Detectives from Staffordshire Police’s Major Crimes investigations department gathered forensic evidence and witness statements, as well as intelligence from mobile phones and CCTV.

The court heard the men had targeted houses and commercial premises, in south Staffordshire and Warwickshire, principally to steal car keys and take high value vehicles, which included a black Range Rover Evoque, a white Range Rover Sport, a white VW Golf GTD and a white Ford Focus RS.

Three burglaries and three attempted burglaries took place in one night on 25/26 March 2016, beginning with an attempted burglary at a house in Austrey Road, Warton, in Warwickshire at around 1am. At around 2:40am beer, golf clubs and other items were stolen from a property in Peel Close, Tamworth. A white iPhone was dropped which contained a photo of one of the men, Jimmy Cutler.

At around 3am and 3:20am two more attempts were made to enter houses in Hints Road, Hopwas, and Pegasus Walk, Tamworth. During the same night a white Range Rover Sport was stolen after its keys were taken from a house in Byron Road, Tamworth. In Lawrence Court, Tamworth, a white Ford Focus RS was taken after its keys were stolen. There were sightings of both vehicles and petrol was stolen from a garage in Tamworth before the Range Rover was discovered later that day.

The Ford Focus RS was later found in a garage in Mulliner Street, Coventry, where it was being stripped down.

On 1 March a black Range Rover Evoque was stolen after keys were taken from a house at Blackwood Road, Tamworth. When the Range Rover was dumped DNA traces were found which linked Thompson to the vehicle.

On 12 March a white VW Golf GTD was stolen when keys were taken during a burglary at a house in Queensway, Tamworth.

Zak Clark, aged 23, of Elizabeth Drive, Tamworth was sentenced to 4 years 8 months for conspiracy to burgle.

Jimmy Cutler, aged 24, (formerly of Tamworth) now of Dame Kendal Grove, Grimsby, was sentenced to 3 years 4 months for conspiracy to burgle.

Adam Gould, aged 21, of Hamble, Tamworth, was sentenced to 4 years for conspiracy to burgle.

Phillip Thompson, aged 38, of Lansdowne Crescent, Tamworth, was sentenced to two years four months for handling and conspiracy to burgle.

Heath Moran, aged 22, of Lyon Drive, Tamworth, was sentenced to 2 years 4 months for handling, dangerous driving and making off without payment. He was also disqualified from driving for two years.

Inspector Pete Cooke, of Staffordshire Police’s Major Crimes investigations department, said: “These men broke into houses while the occupants slept, specifically to target high-powered cars so they could race them and strip them for parts.

”They were an organised, close-knit group which preyed on properties across the south of Staffordshire and into neighbouring Warwickshire. A great deal of hard work has gone into gathering the evidence to build this case and we’re delighted these men are now behind bars.”

five jailed for drug offences in Staffordshire

FIVE men were jailed for a total of 25 years for drugs offences yesterday (Nov 6) after a kilo of cocaine and £45,000 in cash were found during searches in Staffordshire.

Officers discovered £45,000 cash in a hidden compartment of a van and a kilo of cocaine in a search of a kitchen in Stone, Staffordshire. A quarter kilo of cocaine was also discovered stashed in a cereal tin, during a search of a car.

Ten men in total pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs at earlier hearings, with the exception of Daniel Felgate, who was found guilty of the same offence on October 23, following a six-day trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

The case involved a supply line of cocaine between the Wirral and Staffordshire.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court was told that on 12 August 2015 just after 7pm a silver Mercedes Vito van was observed pulling up outside a property in Longhope Drive, Stone.

James Jackson got out of the van and went inside carrying a blue and white bag. He left a few minutes later with a supermarket carrier bag. The van was stopped a short distance away and a supermarket carrier bag was found in a hidden compartment containing £45,350 in banknotes.

When this money was examined forensically it was found to have prints matching to Daniel Felgate. Another man, Ian Mycock, was stopped nearby and found to be in possession of two grip seal bags containing cocaine with a value of £110.

As officers forced entry to the property in Longhope Drive, Felgate jumped from the upstairs bathroom window and ran off. After a short chase he was arrested. Simon Richardson and Wayne Bond were both at the address and in possession of mobile phones with text messages linked to drug supply on them.

A search of the property began and officers found around one kilo of cocaine (valued at £43,000 to £57,000) in the kitchen.

The cocaine was inside the blue and white bag Jackson had taken into the property.

In a second event, on 25 August 2015, a white Nissan Navara pick-up was stopped on the M6 travelling southbound between junctions 19 and 18. The driver was Lee Edwards and Thomas Cotterill and Joseph Plimmer were passengers.

Under the front passenger seat was a cereal tin, containing what was found to be 243 grams (1/4 kilo) of cocaine with a value between £10,000 and £24,300. The tin was later examined for fingerprints and found to have two marks identified to Russell Ford.

Holder was instrumental in arranging the meeting of Ford and Cotterill and subsequent supply of cocaine.

  • Grant Holder, aged 34, of Wedgwood Avenue, Stone, sentenced to 6 years 6 months
  • Daniel Felgate, aged 34, of Priory Road, Stone, sentenced to 7 years
  • Simon Richardson, aged 36, of Longhope Drive, Stone, sentenced to 4 years 6 months
  • Wayne Bond, aged 37, of Walton Grange, Stafford Road, Stone, sentenced to 5 years.
  • Russell Ford, aged 36, of The Old Factory, Rosemount, Oxton, Birkenhead, sentenced to 2 years 7 months.
  • Thomas Cotterill, aged 22, of Victory Crescent, Cheadle, received a 16-month suspended sentence
  • Joseph Plimmer, aged 20, of Woodlands Lane, Blythe Bridge, received a 21-month suspended sentence.
  • Lee Edwards, aged 21, of Dilhorne Road, Forsbrook, received a two-year suspended sentence.
  • Cotterill, Edwards and Plimmer were each ordered to undertake 250 hours’ unpaid work and to pay £400 costs.
  • A further man, Ian Mycock, aged 35, of Hardy Road, Stafford, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and was given a 12-month conditional discharge, £20 victim surcharge and £130 costs.

James Jackson, aged 49, of The Oaks, Wirral, will be sentenced on Wednesday (November 8).

Detective Inspector Lesley Fowler, of Staffordshire Police’s Major and Organised Crime investigations department, said: “We’re glad that these men are now behind bars. They went to lengths to conceal their activity and officers have worked hard over years to painstakingly gather evidence and build a case which has resulted in successful prosecutions.

“We’re dedicated to taking a proactive stance on tackling organised criminal activity and the supply of illegal drugs within our community. We will act decisively to take drugs and weapons off the street to keep our communities safe from harm and protect the vulnerable.”

Anyone who has information about a crime can call Staffordshire Police on 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Internet laptop computer

STAFFORDSHIRE Police are trying to educate as many people in Staffordshire over the age of 60 about how to spot a scam online.

The latest data from the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, Action Fraud, shows that those aged between 60 and 79 are most likely to fall victim to scams like phishing and romance fraud.

Staffordshire Police are spending the next week trying to educate people in that age group of how to spot scams like handing over bank details and tips on how to protect yourself when dating online.

Online dating has become increasingly popular, especially with the over-60s looking for partners later in life. Unfortunately police are seeing a growing number of these people fall victim to fraudsters that are trying to steal their money and/or identity.

Victims of phishing, where someone poses as a company you use to try and convince you to hand over valuable personal details or money, are also on the rise, with those aged 60 and over particularly vulnerable.

Superintendent Amanda Davies, director of intelligence at Staffordshire Police, said: “People of any age should be able to enjoy the internet and all that it offers without being targeted by criminals. Unfortunately this is just not the case and so we want to educate those most likely to become victims on how they can avoid it.

“I hear too often of victims being misled and losing money after placing their trust in someone they have met online. It is wrong to prey on the vulnerable, so we work closely with neighbouring police forces and partners like Action Fraud to stop those trying to defraud innocent members of the public. Simultaneously we focus heavily on distributing crime prevention advice to prevent people falling prey to this in future.

“If you are not sure about something you receive or it doesn’t look legitimate, or if you are talking to a stranger online and they start asking too many probing questions, trust your instinct and report it. Either contact the owning website directly or contact Action Fraud if you think someone is trying to defraud you.”

Over the next week Police will be running a targeted Facebook campaign aimed at those most likely to be victims and signposting them to advice on how to spot the signs. The first half of the week will be about spotting the signs of phishing and other scams, the second half will be focused on advice around romance fraud.

Their key advice links can be found below:

5 ways to spot a scam: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/cybercrime/spotascam

Romance fraud advice: https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/8620/Romance-Fraud

For wider advice on the different types of fraud and for details on who to contact, go to https://actionfraud.police.uk/ or find them on social media.

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