Masked gang who stole BMWs before using them as getaway cars in shop raids jailed for 29 years

Sean Morrison
Anthony Patton, pictured, was part of a gang who who stole cars in a string of burglaries before using them as getaway cars in more thefts: Metropolitan Police

A masked gang of thugs who stole flash cars before using them to raid nearby shops have been jailed for total of 29 years.

The group of five men crept into homes across London in the middle of the night, as the residents slept, before stealing their keys and making off with cars including BMWs, Audis and Mercedes.

Driving the stolen cars, the gang then targeted petrol stations and newsagents wearing masks and armed with crowbars, masonry and fire extinguishers.

They smashed their way through glass doors and ripped through metal shutters and stolen goods including cigarettes and cash between March and November last year.

Jailed: Ricky Parratt

An estimated £189,000 worth of vehicles were stolen in the swoop that reached as far as Sussex and Kent.

The car registration plates would be replaced with false ones in an attempt to avoid the vehicles being identified.

Jailed: Kenny Davey

Anthony Patton, 31, Ashley Davey, 27, Luke Ballard, 20, and Ricky Parratt, 24, pleaded guilty at hearings at Croydon Crown Court to conspiracy to commit residential and non-residential burglaries.

They also admitted to conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles. Kenny Davey, 25, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a residential burglary on 13 June 2016.

Jailed: Luke Ballard

In addition to the offences, Patton pleaded guilty to a robbery whereby the victim suffered a dislocated shoulder after his Rolex Watch was torn from his wrist outside his own front door.

They were all sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday and were handed a total of 29 years in prison between them.

Patton, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to ten years, Davey, of Homesdale Road, Bromley, to seven.

Jailed: Ashley Davey

Ballard of King Henry's Drive, New Addington, and Parrat, of Leigh Crescent, New Addington, were sentenced to five and a half years' imprisonment.

Davey, of Homesdale Road, Bromley, was given a 12-month sentence.

Detective Constable Rebecca Dyer from the London Crime Squad, said: "These men have caused considerable distress to their victims, both homeowners and business owners alike, whose lives have been severely impacted by mindless damage and theft of property.

"I hope these sentences reflect the upset caused to these victims and that the jailing of the members of this criminal network demonstrates how the Met will continue to target burglars and bring offenders to justice."