Wisbech men jailed for stealing thousands of pounds of cigarettes in shop raids

Nelson Loveridge.

Nelson Loveridge. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A GANG responsible for stealing thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes in night time shop raids using a stolen car have been given jailed.

Blossom Smith.

Blossom Smith. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Two of the gang came from the Wisbech area, one from Spalding and another from Peterborough.

John Smith.

John Smith. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Three of the gang were arrested following surveillance by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit ERSOU.

An ERSOU spokesperson said the investigation focused on travelling criminals who used stolen vehicles to commit night time burglaries at shops.

“These businesses suffered thousands of pounds of loss and damage during these attacks, which often cause further distress to the communities they serve.

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“We want to reassure the public that ERSOU is actively involved in targeting organised criminals, such as these in rural areas, as well as tackling organised crime groups elsewhere.

“This is part of our long standing commitment to the communities of the eastern region in reducing the harm that organised criminals pose. Again it’s another success story, showing the dedicated and committed resources we have make a difference.”

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Nelson Loveridge, John Smith and Blossom Smith appeared at Norwich Crown Court where they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglaries.

They were arrested after stealing large quantities of cigarettes from Jet garage at Hellesdon, near Norwich, and the McColls newsagent in Bawdeswell, near Fakenham.

Loveridge, 27, of Maltmas Road in Friday Bridge, Cambridgeshire was charged with burglaries and theft of a Vauxhall Astra from North Tuddenham which was used for the raids.

Blossom Smith, 23, of Gosburton in Spalding, Lincolnshire was charged with the same offences, as well as burglary of the Tesco garage in Dereham on January 1.

John Smith, 21, of Werrington Bridge Road in Peterborough was charged with all four of the offences and of handling stolen goods on December 5 last year, when he was seen with a stolen Audi RS6 Quattro worth £11,450.

He was given 21 months in prison for his part in the burglaries and nine months for handling the stolen Audi, running consecutively as a 30-month sentence

A fourth man, Danny Webb, 27, of Blunts Drove in Wisbech pleaded guilty to handling the stolen Audi and had a 10-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and was told to complete 250 hours of unpaid work by Recorder Christopher Morgan.

Blossom Smith and Loveridge also got 21 months for their part in the burglaries, although Smith was given another three months for breaching a six-month suspended sentence already on his record, which will run consecutively to total 24 months

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