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Gang jailed for 25 years after using ‘decoder’ device to steal items worth £416k


A Black Country gang which used a ‘decoder’ device to steal vehicles that they used in a spate of burglaries has been locked up for a combined 25 years.

The five-strong group stole more than £416,000 worth of cars and property after targeting Ford vehicles and taking them without the keys by interfering with the software.

The stolen cars were then used on false or cloned number plates to carry out a number of burglaries at commercial premises.

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Just over £416,000 worth of cars and property were stolen by the gang in the Black Country between June and October 2017.

Detectives from West Midlands Police ‘s high harm team were able to link to gang to 23 vehicle thefts and 12 burglaries, they also caused significant damage to commercial premises as they forced their way into them.

The gang conspired to target vehicles, steal them and use them to commit further offences. Many of the vehicles, number plates and stolen property were generally recovered close to their homes.

Extensive phone work, CCTV and forensics, including DNA recovered from their crimes helped detectives put the case together.

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One man was found guilty following a trial in June, the rest of the gang pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court last Wednesday, September 8.

Anthony McDonagh, aged 34, from Astoria Close, Willenhall, was sentenced to nine years and two months in prison for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to commit burglaries.

Mitchell Baker, aged 25, from Dartmouth Avenue, Willenhall, was handed seven years and seven months in prison for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to commit burglaries.

Liam Baker, aged 26, from Dartmouth Avenue, Willenhall, was given seven years and one month in prison for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to commit burglaries.

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Ashley Poultney, aged 26, from Slater Street, Willenhall, was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for 20 months for conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.

And Sundeep Dyail, aged 26, from March End Road, Wednesfield, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for handling stolen goods.

DC Steve Trotman from force CID, said: “The upset, misery and inconvenience their actions have caused all of the people affected by their crimes is shocking.

“They went to great lengths to carry out their crimes and probably thought they were getting away with it.

“I hope this outcome provides all of those affected with some comfort.

“We’re committed to actively pursuing those who cause harm like this in our communities.”

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