Car thieves who targeted Buxton jailed for 24 years

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Three men who stole cars from homes across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, including two in Buxton, have been jailed for a total of 24 years.

Grant Johnson, Dane Shaw and Karl Morley targeted a string of properties during an eight-month crime spree in 2012.

In the majority of the 47 incidents, the suspects, from Sheffield, used tools to force their way inside the homes before searching for car keys and taking vehicles including Mazdas, BMWs and a Porsche.

In June 2012, they broke into two houses in Buxton and stole an Audi A3 and attempted to take a Volkwagen Golf, but they couldn’t locate the keys as they were upstairs.

In October 2012, the trio broke into a Buxton house and stole an Audi A4. It was later recovered in Leeds.

Police believe the three men followed the Buxton victims driving home from work in Sheffield and then returned at about midnight to sneak into their houses.

Johnson, 28, Shaw, 25, and Morley, 25, committed 23 offences in Derbyshire targeting homes in Buxton, Chesterfield, Killamarsh, Eckington and Dronfield, stealing a total of 15 cars.

Police discovered Morley’s DNA on a mask found discarded alongside a pair of pliers in a crashed, abandoned Volkswagen Golf near Chesterfield, that was stolen from a 76-year-old man, of Holymoor Road, in July 2012.

Detective Inspector Julian Wilson, from Chesterfield CID, said: “This was a long and complex investigation, with officers from three counties working together to bring these men to justice.

“Johnson, Shaw and Morley used sophisticated techniques and carried out targeted burglaries, stealing cars with a combined worth of more than £600,000.

“Many of their crimes had a profound and lasting effect on their victims. The sentences handed down to these men reflect the severity of their crimes and we hope they will act as a deterrent to other would-be burglars.”

Johnson, of Walthe Road, Shaw, of Paddock Crescent, and Morley, of Spinkhill Road, were all charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and theft, between March 1, 2012 and November 10, 2012 across three counties.

They also faced an additional charge of conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles between the same dates.

The trio pleaded guilty to both offences in March and were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on April 16.

Morley was jailed for nine years, Shaw eight years and Johnson seven and a half years.