Prison for gang who dressed as police to rob homes and jewellers

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

Four men have been sentenced for a total of 46 years after they claimed to be uniformed police officers before robbing their victims.

Richard Clancy, 27, from Little Hulton, and Matthew Cheston, 31, from Warrington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to kidnap, and burglary.

Connor Smith-Macphee, from Salford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to burglary, conspiracy to kidnap, possession of a firearm without authority and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Mark Worthington-Breen from Little Hulton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob , conspiracy to kidnap and arson with intent to endanger life.

Clancy was jailed for 13 and a half years, Cheston to 12 years, Smith-Macphee for nine years and Worthington-Breen to 11 and a half years.

They were sentenced today Friday 13 December 2013 at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Between March 2012 and April 2012, the gang targeted homes and jewellers purporting to be uniformed police officers in the Greater Manchester, Halifax and Preston areas.

Their victims were approached and told that the “officers” had a warrant for their arrest. Some of the victims were restrained by either handcuffs or plastic cable ties whilst the offenders ransacked their properties stealing cash, jewellery and property.

On two occasions, two men were kidnapped by the gang and taken to locations where they were beaten and tortured before being released.

Detective Inspector Alan Robertson said: “These men went to great lengths to obtain fake police uniforms and warrant cards. When they knocked on their victim⿿s doors, they were so convincing, those they targeted genuinely believed they were in trouble and that the police had come to arrest them.

“Following the first kidnap in Salford, they set fire to the flat in Little Hulton to try and destroy the forensic evidence of what they had done. The consequences of the fire could also have been disastrous as an elderly woman lived in the flat above.

“The violence shown towards the two men who were kidnapped demonstrates the extremes the gang would go to. In both of these cases, the gang had thoroughly researched who they were targeting, showing their ruthless professionalism.

“The second man was so terrified, he did not report his ordeal to police and we only discovered he had been a victim after his blood was discovered on a pair of police handcuffs found in a Vauxhall Insignia that made off from police. Cheston and Clancy were arrested dressed as police officers making off from this vehicle.

“We launched an operation to find out who was responsible for these crimes. Thankfully, we were able to catch the gang before they were able to target anyone else and are now serving significant time behind bars for the crimes they committed.”