Masked gang jailed over armed robbery in Coventry
Masked robbers who threatened a security van driver with a machete before fleeing with thousands of pounds of cash have been jailed for almost 50 years - after officers thwarted their getaway.
The balaclava-clad gang targeted the van in Clifford Bridge Road, Coventry, before fleeing in a silver Mercedes at around 7.30am on 9 January this year.
Officers quickly traced the Mercedes to the outskirts of Coventry and following a police pursuit it came to a stop in Minworth near Sutton Coldfield.
Aaron Collins, Sean Walker and Daniel Ferris tried to flee the scene but were quickly arrested by officers.
The cash box and a machete were recovered from the Mercedes and the trio were charged over the armed robbery.
A fourth man, Stephen Bowley, was later identified as having also formed part of the masked gang and was charged in connection with the robbery.
Collins, aged 40, of Warwick Road, Solihull, who owned the Mercedes and Bowley, 41, of St Giles Road, Kitts Green, denied the charge but were convicted following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
They were jailed for 17 years and 10 years respectively last Friday (23 November).
Walker, 26, of Kitts Green Road, Lea Village, was sentenced to 12 years and Ferris, aged 28, of Derrydown Close, Erdington, to eight years after pleading guilty.
DC Derek Cole, from force CID, said: "Although the van driver was not physically injured this was a terrifying experience.
"Those in the Mercedes, after it was quickly traced by officers, went to great lengths to try and get away from police but with the help of neighbouring police forces we were able to keep them on the radar and make the arrests without jeopardising the safety of members of the public.
"Further enquiries established that Bowley had also been one of the robbers and we were able to ensure he was brought to justice.
"These lengthy sentences should act as a stern warning that such criminal behaviour is unacceptable and we will do all we can to catch anyone involved in such serious matters."