Hebden Bridge Co-op cigarette burglary gang jailed

Gareth Robinson. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.
Gareth Robinson. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

A gang of burglars who ransacked a Co-op in Hebden Bridge and launched a police helicopter search have been jailed.

The four men, who are from the Oldham area, were each sent to prison for four years for burglary at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

Matthew Bowers. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

Matthew Bowers. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

Greater Manchester Police officers stopped Peter Clark, 32, Matthew Bowers, also 32, Gareth Robinson, 28, and Ryan Stewart, 35, after they fled the scene in Hebden Bridge on January 8.

At around 11.25pm, three of the men were seen forcing their way into the Co-op premise, before searching it and making off with cigarettes.

The fourth man waited outside in an Audi A3 car.

Combined resources from West Yorkshire Police’s patrol and traffic teams, the dog unit and the National Police Air Service helicopter were used to trace the vehicle into Greater Manchester.

Peter Clarke. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

Peter Clarke. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

The culprits abandoned their vehicle, but were chased and detained by officers nearby.

The four men pleaded guilty to the offence yesterday in court.

Robinson also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and possession of a bladed article, while Bower pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle and driving whilst disqualified. He was also banned from driving for three years.

Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson, of Calderdale CID, said: “These men travelled to Hebden Bridge with the sole purpose of causing criminality and causing disruption in our community.

Ryan Stewart. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

Ryan Stewart. Picture released by West Yorkshire Police.

“This investigation highlights how seriously we take reports of burglaries – we will find you and you will be arrested, charged and put through the courts.

“Thanks to our close working with Greater Manchester Police and NPAS, we were able to quickly trace those involved and arrest them on the same night.

“I hope this serves as a warning to others, as well as offering some reassurance to residents and business owners in Calderdale of how seriously we take these types of offences.”