A gang from Manchester armed with a shot-gun who went on a crime spree and were eventually arrested and stopped by Northamptonshire Police have been jailed.
Romahn Richards, aged 23, of Oundle Close, Manchester, Jake Prempeh, aged 25, of no fixed abode, Kayode Freeman, aged 22, of no fixed abode, and Omar Berryman, aged 26, of Hardy Lane, Manchester, pleaded guilty to their varying degrees of involvement in a string of robberies across the country.
Richards pleaded guilty to eight counts of robbery, six counts of having a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and one count of dangerous driving and was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison.
The dangerous driving offence related to a pursuit by Northamptonshire officers which resulted in Richards ending up on top of a multi-story car park in the town centre, before police negotiators were able to successfully talk him down.
Freeman pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery, three counts of having a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.
Prempeh pleaded guilty to 11 counts of robbery, eight counts of having a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence, one count of possession of a firearm and one count of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and was sentenced to 15 years and seven months in prison.
Berryman was not involved in the Northamptonshire offence, but pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and two counts of having a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.
Richards, Freeman and Prempeh were eventually caught after committing an aggravated burglary in Northamptonshire in 18 June 2014.
The gang had followed a couple home after they had been to a local casino and forced their way inside, locking the couple in a toilet while they ransacked the house.
After fleeing in a black Nissan Almera, officers in Northampton pursued them through the city centre and eventually stopped the car, with Richards, Prempeh and Freeman inside. Officers also seized a Dunlop bag with the single-barrelled sawn-off shotgun inside.
Police in Manchester were made aware since Richards and Freeman were well-known as being part of a Manchester organised crime group, and inquiries by GMP soon established the gun recovered was the same weapon used in a string of robberies that took place in Manchester and Derbyshire between May and June.
Officers also seized numerous bits of clothing including a black and white balaclava, orange and grey builders gloves, a grey hooded top and matching tracksuit bottoms, a blue Ralph Lauren hooded top and silver rimmed aviator style sunglasses.
These items had partial DNA matches for Richards, Prempeh and Freeman and also matched the clothing worn during previous robberies in Manchester and Derbyshire.
Detective Constable Aaron Garrett, from Northampton CID, said: “This gang were organised and brazen in not only committing robberies in their home city but across borders into other towns.
“They used violence and weapons to intimidate and scare innocent people during their crime spree. Following a pursuit through the town centre we were able to arrest the gang and put an end to their reign of terror.”
Detective Constable Jennifer Wylde, from Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Crime Division, said: “Thanks to our colleagues in Northamptonshire Police, we were able to secure a litany of evidence against these men which has ultimately led to their convictions. What was seized from that car amounted to a robber’s kit, replete with a weapon, balaclavas and gloves.
“Given the sheer volume of offences this gang committed over such a short period of time, I have no doubt they’d still be out there today threatening their victims at gunpoint were it not for the fact they were caught, and I hope people can sleep a little easier knowing they are now behind bars