Manchester

Burglars jailed after leaving thank-you note for 'free stuff'

Top row (left to right) Curtis Rowe, Dale Driver, Dale Higgins, Harry Mulgrew. Bottom row: Matthew Harrop, Reece Goodall, Reece McCracken, Robson McCabe Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Police used CCTV footage and traced phone calls and text messages to identify those involved

Burglars who left a handwritten note for one of their victims thanking them for "free stuff" have been jailed.

The eight men were part of two gangs who committed 39 burglaries in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, Manchester Crown Court heard.

A note was left at one property in Wilmslow which read: "Thanks for the free stuff, yours sincerely, the Midnight Removals".

Det Con Rob Shakespeare said the gangs were working on an "industrial scale".

"Although they thought they had planned their burglaries well, in reality they left evidence behind and a trail of clues for police officers to follow," he said.

One gang committed 13 burglaries and stole 15 vehicles valued at £347,000 between September and November 2018, GMP said.

The other group committed 22 burglaries and stole more than 12 cars by replacing the registrations plates using specialist equipment.

Police were able to identify those involved using CCTV footage and tracing phone calls and text message conversations, a GMP spokesman said.

The eight men jailed at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court:

• Dale Higgins, 24, of no fixed abode - was sentenced to seven years and one month after being found guilty of nine counts of burglary and possession of a firearm

• Reece Goodall, 24, of no fixed abode- five years and six months after being found guilty of 17 counts of burglary.

• Kurtis Rowe, 22, of Norcross Close, Stockport - five years after being found guilty of 22 counts of burglary.

• Robson McCabe, 23, of no fixed abode - four years and six months after being found guilty of nine counts of burglary.

• Harry Mulgrew, 25, of Jennings Street, Stockport - three years after being found guilty of six counts of burglary and possession of CS gas.

• Dale Driver, 26, of Shayfield Drive, Manchester, was sentenced to two years and eight months after being found guilty of one burglary.

• Reece McCracken, 20, of Bosley Road, Stockport - two years after being found guilty of five counts of burglary.

• Matthew Harrop, 24, of Woodhall Crescent, Stockport - two years after being found guilty of three counts of burglary.

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