Ram raiders jailed as WMP finds two hiding in canal
West Midlands Police has released dramatic footage showing ram raiders smashing their way into a Birmingham shop − and of two later being plucked from a canal as they tried in vain to hide from a police helicopter.
The shocking video shows Shaun Sutherland, Abdul Nasim, Saifullah Khan and Nathaniel Brown using a stolen Land Rover as a battering ram at a currency exchange bureau in Kings Heath in the early hours of 7 November last year.
They made off empty-handed after being spooked by the whirring blades of a police helicopter that was on the lookout for the gang following reports they’d already attacked a Co-op store in Dudley and a Hockley jewellers.
The eye-in-the-sky followed the quartet, wanted over 20 shop raids in just six weeks, as it sped along residential streets − and when they ditched the Land Rover in Sparkbrook the air operations team switched to thermal imaging cameras to keep tabs on the fleeing group.
Sutherland (28) and 29-year-old Brown were tracked to the canal’s edge and plucked from the water by cops, while 27-year-old Khan was tracked by a West Midlands Police dog nearby and swiftly arrested.
Nasim (20) from Applesham Close in Sparkhill was arrested a few weeks later.
All four were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and on Monday (24 June) they were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court having admitted roles in the ram raid plot.
Sutherland, from Eastwood Road in Balsall Heath, was jailed for six years four months; Nasim and Khan, from Smithmoor Crescent in West Bromwich, both given five year six month terms, and Brown from Longleat Avenue, Birmingham, sentenced to four years eight months.
Detective Inspector Tom Hadley from West Midlands Police Force CID, said: “This was an organised, determined and, on occasions, quite brazen conspiracy which caused substantial loss to small businesses.
“The men caused extensive damage and misery to the business community, plus huge inconvenience to the eight people whose cars they stole to carry out the ram raids.
“It’s estimated they caused damage in excess of £100,000 and carried bricks and pieces of concrete in their cars which they used as missiles to attack police and any members of the public who confronted them.
“We suspect other men were also part of the conspiracy; our investigation continues and we are determined to bring all those responsible to justice."
Mayfield Stores was the first shop to be attacked − in the early hours of 5 October − when a stolen Audi A3 was used to drag away a cash machine which was later found dumped in an industrial estate in Balshall Heath.
Two days later, three business premises were raided within just two hours.
Shutters were forced at Co-op in Yardley Wood Road at 2am and an unsuccessful attempt made to steal an ATM machine.
Less than an hour later the Phone X Change in Solihull was ransacked and stock stolen and shortly afterwards men forced entry to Madina Mobiles in Sparkhill.
West Midlands Police detectives found blood on a shattered glass cabinet which returned a DNA hit to Sutherland − and together with CCTV and phone analysis comprised a compelling evidence package that saw the four men admit their involvement.