Sheffield men jailed for 10 years for designer clothes shop ram raids, burglaries and theft of high value cars

Two Sheffield men have both been jailed for 10 years for a series of raids where high value cars and designer goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds were stolen.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 12:46 pm
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 12:50 pm
Gavin Bennett

CRIME: Police issue warning after rape of prostitute in SheffieldGavin Bennett, age 36, of Maun Way, Firth Park, and Martin Griffin, 28, of Butterthwaite Road, Shiregreen, were jailed after pleading guilty to a string of offences including two ram raids at a designer clothes store on Division Street in Sheffield city centre.

Martin Griffin

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They targeted Eton twice last year - once in August and again in October - and escaped with a haul of designer items both times after smashing cars through the shop window, loading them up and speeding off.

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The men, both jailed for 10 years, admitted burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to steal a motor vehicle relating to a series of offences between August and October 2017 last year.

South Yorkshire Police said they were responsible for a 'series of high value, organised thefts and burglaries' across Sheffield and Barnsley, where the value or the items stolen and the damage caused was around £700,000.

CCTV footrage of one of the ram raids at Eton on Division Street in Sheffield city centre

Detective Inspector Ian Proffitt, who ran Operation Cincinnati, which led to their arrests, said: "Detectives from both Barnsley and Sheffield were brought together to review burglaries that had taken place across South Yorkshire and into north-east Derbyshire, where Audis, Volkswagens, BMWs and performance cars were stolen.

"The thieves had also stolen jewellery, expensive clothing and cash.

"In two of these cases, the cars stolen during the burglaries were then used in ram-raid style burglaries."

DI Proffitt added: "Bennett and Griffin’s offending was of significant concern to us, as they were brazen and clearly thought that they were untouchable. Operation Cincinnati saw a dedicated and determined team of detectives and police staff work tirelessly to identify those responsible for this spate of crime across the county.

Martin Griffin

"Bennett and Griffin were identified as a result of those efforts and when they were arrested, subsequent searches of their homes led to the recovery of a large amount of stolen property.

"I’m pleased that both men entered guilty pleas for their crimes, such was the overwhelming volume of evidence gathered by the officers on this case.

"They have now quite rightly been given a substantial prison sentence for their part in these offences, which have affected victims, communities and businesses and resulted in a high value of loss for many people. The total value of property stolen and damaged is close to around £700,000.

"This operation reflects the commitment that South Yorkshire Police officers and staff have to identify, arrest and bring to justice those involved in organised crime and burglary dwellings."

CCTV footrage of one of the ram raids at Eton on Division Street in Sheffield city centre