THREE men have been jailed for conspiring to commit more 30 burglaries which included guns being stolen and sold on to criminal gangs in Birmingham following a West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) investigation.
Some of the offences took place Worcestershire including a robbery in Redditch, and burglaries in Grafton Flyford, Bradley Green and Saleway near Droitwich.
Kadim Shah, John Shorthouse and Roshan Singh repeatedly travelled to rural areas in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and South Birmingham, breaking into homes and stealing high value items such as cars, watches and – in some locations – legitimately owned shotguns.
A number of shotguns were recovered as part of the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) investigation.
Singh of South Acre Avenue, Birmingham, has been caged for 16 years, Shorthouse, from Greenford Road, Yardley, for 16 years and eight months and Shah, 21, of Lewis Road, Stirchley for 15 years, two months.
In December last year, Maher Ali of Vaughton Street, Birmingham, was jailed for two years and three months for possession of a firearm after being stopped in a Volkswagen Golf in November in Birmingham whilst in possession of a stolen Beretta shotgun.
The gun was stolen in a burglary in Wilmcote, Warwickshire, earlier that day – a burglary Shah, Shorthouse and Singh were responsible for.
Ali was spotted getting out of Singh’s Vauxhall Astra just before he was stopped.
During a different operation days later a sawn-off shotgun and large quantities of class A drugs were recovered from the boot of a car in Stirchley, identified as being stolen on November 2 in a burglary the trio committed.
Another VW Golf, stolen a week earlier from Redditch, was found alongside a Ford Connect van in Yardley Wood, near to 23-year-old Shorthouse’s home.
Three shotguns seized from the car were stolen in a different burglary the same day.
A burglary surge in Worcestershire and Warwickshire, accounting for the theft over £700,000 worth of goods, prompted ROCU officers to work with West Mercia and Warwickshire police teams.
Three Birmingham-based criminal associates – Shorthouse, Singh and Shah – who travelled to Warwickshire and Worcestershire to commit the offences were quickly identified.
On December 12 cash machine stolen during a ram raid on a Co-op in Earlswood, was found in Balsall Heath with an estimated £40,000 worth of cash missing and a stolen Land Rover and Mercedes used in the robbery were also recovered.
The trio were all arrested in December last year after intelligence-led swoops at their home addresses.
Stolen property, including balaclavas, tools and weapons were recovered from all three homes and around £4,000 worth of cocaine was found in Shorthouse’s family address.
CCTV and clothing linked the three to further offences and phone analysis between the group shed more light on their criminal enterprise.
Recovered property linked them to a burglary in March 2018 and evidence gathered showed the groups’ illegal activity rapidly increased from August 2018.
In total police linked the trio to 30 separate burglaries and the Co-op ram raid.
All three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle, two counts of robbery and possession of firearms. Shorthouse also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and both him and Shah pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified.