Trio who targeted Mansfield cars given 24 years’ jail

Three men who stole high performance cars from across Nottinghamshire have been jailed, in total, for more than 24 years.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th April 2014, 2:00 pm

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

Detectives from Nottinghamshire Police began an investigation following a report of a burglary in Sutton in April that year.

While the occupants were in bed, suspects forced their way into the house and snatched car keys before stealing a red Volkswagen Golf parked outside.

The next month, in a similar burglary, an Audi TT was taken from outside a home in Mansfield.

Homes in Worksop, Mansfield Woodhouse, Ollerton, Rainworth and Harworth were targeted in the months that followed.

After liaising with officers in Derbyshire it transpired that detectives in Chesterfield were investigating a similar spate of offences.

In the incidents the suspects used specialist tools to silently force their way inside the homes before searching for car keys and taking vehicles.

Working together, officers from both forces began a two-year investigation, piecing together evidence, gathering intelligence and trawling mobile phone records in order to build a case against Johnson, Shaw and Morley.

Johnson (28) formerly of Waltheof Road, Sheffield, Shaw (25) formerly of Paddock Crescent, Sheffield, and Morley (25) formerly of Spinkhill Road, Sheffield, were all charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and theft, between 1st March and 10th November 2012 in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.

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 at an earlier hearing in March and appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Wednesday 16 April where Morley was sentenced to nine years, Shaw eight years and Jonson seven and a half years.

Det Insp Richard Monk, from Ashfield CID, said: “This was a calculated, highly organised and pre-planned operation in which Johnson, Shaw and Morley picked their targets based on the value of the vehicle parked outside.

“A dedicated team of officers from both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have worked tirelessly for two years to build a robust case against these three men who intruded on the lives of innocent victims, shattering their sense of security and making them feel vulnerable in their own homes.”

A total of 47 incidents were linked to Johnson, Shaw and Morley, in which cars, including Audis, Volkswagens, Mazdas, BMWs and a Porsche, were taken with 22 offences happening in Nottinghamshire with 15 of those resulting in vehicles being stolen.

One of the victims was asleep in her Mansfield home when they targeted her house.

The 32-year-old said: “I had been woken up by the sound of my dog barking so listened for a bit which is when I saw a flashlight in the hallway.

“I then remember looking out the window and seeing a man standing under the floodlight looking right up at me. I just froze.

“I went to the window and shouted as if I was speaking to someone else, but that didn’t deter him. After walking across the street he stopped, turned round and went back into the house.

“He did that three times before he eventually left.

“Other than the initial shock of what had happened, I didn’t think the incident had really affected me. But as time has gone on I have become more anxious and angry about what they did and that is something I have struggled to cope with.

“That man instantly took away my feeling of safety and I hope that the sentences handed down today help to bring me some closure.”

A further 23 offences were committed in Derbyshire with the trio targeting homes in Chesterfield, Buxton, Killarmarsh, Eckington and Dronfield.

Det Insp 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.

“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.”