Raiders jailed after reign of terror

BEHIND BARS Michael Crosdale, the gang member who received the longest sentence.
BEHIND BARS Michael Crosdale, the gang member who received the longest sentence.

A six-strong gang of burglars who carried out a string of raids have been jailed.

During four months in 2012 they stole jewellery, cash and other goods worth more than £200,000 in a series of 11 burglaries and a robbery from addresses in Dewsbury, Drighlington, Halifax, Elland, Armley, Rawdon and Bradford.

In one attack a stroke victim was confronted by three robbers in balaclavas in his bedroom at his Elland home.

They threatened to shoot him and smash his legs with his own crutches before stealing a safe containing gold.

Over three days they committed four burglaries in Halifax using a silver Subaru.

Police pursued the vehicle following one of the incidents before it was abandoned.

They were caught as a result of an investigation dubbed Operation Axilshot, led by Calderdale CID and officers attached to a burglary task force.

Their enquiries identified that the gang would repeatedly target one specific area before moving elsewhere in the county in a bid to avoid detection.

They would wear balaclavas, travel in unregistered vehicles and make efforts to avoid leaving forensic evidence at crime scenes or in the vehicles they used.

In many cases they specifically targeted Asian families to steal gold jewellery worth thousands of pounds.

Painstaking work saw officers trace every vehicle of that type in the country.

The Bradford men were sentenced at Teesside Crown Court for conspiracy to commit burglaries and all received custodial sentences in young offenders institutions.

Michael Crosdale, aged 19, of Baildon, was sentenced to 38 months; Anthony Hardisty, aged 21, of Palin Avenue, received a 32 month sentence; Anthony Davey, aged 21, of Harrogate Road, was given a 30 month term with concurrent six month and two month sentences for burglary.

Aiden Rouse, aged 20, of Norman Lane, Kane Harrison, aged 20, of Fencote Crescent, and Jamie Sherlock, aged 20, of Tyersal Court, were all sentenced to 12 months.