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Cigarette theft gang jailed
CCTV still +CCTV image shows the duvet found in Horsted's house being filled with cigarettes during one of the burglaries.
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A gang targeting commercial premises across London and surrounding counties to steal large quantities of cigarettes have been jailed.
The six men appeared in custody at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday, 19 February where they were jailed for a total of 27 years and nine months for being part of a conspiracy to burgle commercial premises.
The six are as follows:
Gavin Horsted, 36 (30.09.1978) of Uxbridge Road, Hayes was jailed for four years six months. He was found guilty by the jury at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Bradley Kearney, 30 (30.07.1984) of Park Lodge Avenue, West Drayton was jailed for fours years. He was found guilty by the jury at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Mark Sethi, 33 (06.02.1982) of North Road, West Drayton was jailed for five years. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Edward Patrick Jack McGinty, 34 (28.07.1980) of Yorktown Road, Sandhurst was jailed for five years. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Kaine Brian Robert Grant, 24 (30.08.1990) of Fir Tree Avenue, West Drayton was jailed for four years six months. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Patrick McDonagh, 24 (24.04.1990) of no fixed abode was jailed for four years six months. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Sethi and McGinty were also sentenced for the additional offence of going equipped to steal.
The court heard how between July 2014 and September 2014, the men targeted six supermarkets and smaller newsagents to steal large quantities of cigarettes.
During the early hours of morning they would identify a store and wearing dark clothing with their faces covered would use tools such as screwdrivers and sledgehammers to break in.
They would then quickly make their way to the cigarette cabinet, force it open and fill a wheelie bin or duvet cover with cigarettes. They would then leave using a vehicle on false registration plates.
On one of the incidents the gang broke into a store on Swakeleys Road, Ickenham and managed to steal £8000 worth of cigarette and other tobacco products.
Following an investigation by Metropolitan, Surrey and Thames Valley police, on 9 September 2014 officers from Hillingdon Borough's Crime Squad stopped two vehicles; one of them on false plates. Inside the vehicles were Kearney, Sethi, McGinty, Grant and McDonagh. All five men were in possession of gloves, balaclavas and hand tools.
Horsted was later arrested in another vehicle which was identified as a result of stopping the previous two vehicles.
Inside his home address a number of items were found including balaclavas, gloves and a distinctive duvet which officers were able to identify as being used in one of the offences.
Following their arrest the six men were charged with conspiracy to burgle and going equipped to steal.
Detective Constable Okiki Okunola from Hillingdon Borough's Crime Squad said: "This was a very complex investigation involving officers from three policing areas. These men thought they will not get caught by committing their crimes across different locations.
"What they failed to realise is that the police will always work together regardless of their geographic locations to catch those who try to make a living through criminal activities."