Robbery trio found guilty after trial

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Media captionCCTV shows robbers in action

Three men have been convicted of involvement in a series of raids on banks, building societies and shops.

At Winchester Crown Court, Stuart Last, 29, Richard Loveridge, 28, and Andrew Smith, 27, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.

The men were also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. Andrew Smith was cleared, while Loveridge and Last were convicted.

Lee Fitzgerald, 38, of Perrycroft, Windsor, was cleared of both charges.

Last, of Filmer Road, Windsor, Loveridge of Ditton Road, Slough and Smith, of Montrose Avenue, Slough had denied involvement in crimes in which cash and items worth £550,000 were stolen.

During a five-week trial, jurors at Winchester Crown Court heard the offences took place between August 2011 and January 2012 in Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey.

'Dangerous and ruthless'

The court was told the men turned off their mobile phones while the robberies were carried out in order to avoid detection.

A holdall found at Loveridge's home in Slough which contained gloves, jackets and commercially produced balaclavas was also shown to jurors.

The prosecution described it as a "classic robber's kit".

Det Insp Ross Toms, of Hampshire police, said: "This group was dangerous and ruthless, organised and professional.

"They were very sophisticated, leaving very little evidence and changing car number plates - they were very aware of police surveillance methods.

"They were offending with impunity. It's immeasurable the number of crimes they would have committed if they had not been caught."

The men are due to be sentenced on 20 November.

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