An armed gang who carried out “terrifying” robberies at Sainsbury’s in Altrincham and the Co-op in Bowdon Vale have been jailed for a total of over 50 years.
Manchester Crown Square heard that the six men from Greater Manchester had carried out 29 robberies between May and November 2019, making off with thousands of pounds worth of goods.
Jack Yarwood from Salford, Michael Burke from Trafford, Stuart Watson from Trafford, Daniel Adamson from Sale and Michael Kedie from Sale were all jailed for life.
The second offence during the six-month spree had been at the Co-op on Vicarage Road.
Four months later, the gang struck again at Sainsbury’s on Lloyd Street in a brazen daylight robbery.
We reported at the time how the men wielded long machetes as they targeted the main kiosk and travel money area, threatening at least two members of staff before fleeing with currency now revealed to have been worth £8,600.
Further robberies took place in Lymm, Sale, Stretford, Chadderton, Warburton, Warrington, Wigan, Bramhall, Leigh, Swinton, Trafford Park, Urmston, Cheadle Hulme and Wythenshawe.
Detectives found that the group had a strong knowledge of stores’ procedures and protocols, ordering staff to go to the back of the store and empty the contents of the safe by threatening them with weapons and assaulting them.
In one horrifying incident in September 2019, the gang turned up in a stolen vehicle and stormed an address in Cheshire before dragging a naked child out of bed and locking the mother and her two children in a cupboard whilst they raided the house on Dunham Road in Warburton. Expensive watches and jewellery were placed into one of the children’s pillowcases and taken along with the family’s car.
In a statement read out in court, the family described the incident as the “worst night of their lives” and said their children were scarred for life.
The robberies continued until November 2019 and left staff working in the stores extremely shaken up, especially a female worker at McColl’s in Concorde Place in Warrington where one woman was dragged across the floor by her ankle.
On October 26th 2019, one of the men grabbed a staff member from Co-op on Knutsford Road in Warrington and put her into a headlock and dragged her to the ground before stealing cash.
A police patrol attended and followed a stolen Ford Focus from the Devon and Cornwall area through Partington, when driver Daniel Adamson was reaching speeds over 80 mph in a 30mph zone.
Two of the men got out of the vehicle armed with machetes and ran towards the officer in the vehicle before getting back into the Focus and driving off before abandoning it in the Racecourse estate in Sale.
Officers recovered cigarettes, cash and other items from the robbery in Warrington from the Focus.
Adamson was forensically linked to nine of the robberies after officers found Slazenger trousers worn by him during the offences at Robert Lewis’ address.
The rest of the gang were rumbled when detectives from GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Group division pieced the series together and brought the gang to justice through phone and CCTV analysis, surveillance and the support of large number of witnesses in the case.
Detective Sergeant Richard Castley, from GMP’s SOCG, said: “This was a series of terrifying incidents that saw staff members and members of the public in their own homes assaulted and scared for their lives – some of them still haven’t returned to work and are some are still recovering from their ordeal.
“Staff were threatened with machetes and knives, dragged along the floor and manhandled. A family were targeted in their own address, assaulted and threatened with machetes and were fearing for their lives.
“The members of the public targeted by these offenders were simply doing their job to serve the public in their local shop or were in their home addresses when they were confronted with this masked gang armed with weapons.
“Their robbery spree days are now over after our thorough investigation and this sends out a message – no matter how organised and sophisticated a group is – we will track offenders down and bring them to justice.”
Jack Yarwood, 35, of Regent Place, Water Street, Salford, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 10 years for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Michael Burke, 40, of Winchester Road, Trafford, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Stuart Watson, 40, of Kingsway Park, Trafford, was jailed for life with a minimum term of eight years for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Daniel Adamson, 35, of Hurst Avenue, Sale, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 11 years for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Michael Kedie, 30, of Magnolia Court, Sale, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Connor Kedie, 23, of Rookfield Avenue, Sale, was given a 12 month suspended sentence for assisting an OCG.
Detective Chief Inspector Clare Coleman, from Cheshire Police, added: “As a result of the excellent work conducted by the dedicated team of detectives from Cheshire Constabulary, along with the work of our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police, this crime spree has now been brought to an end.
“This case demonstrates that criminals do not stop when they reach the border.
“It is more important than ever that we work closely with our partners to ensure that such criminals are brought to justice.”