MEMBERS of an organised criminal gang that travelled from Greater Manchester to burgle properties in Cheshire have been sentenced.

The ten-strong gang from Brinnington pleaded guilty to a catalogue of 32 burglary offences occurring across the north west between November and February.

Members of the gang were linked to a burglary at Co-op in Alsager, and an attempt to steal money from a cash machine in Sandbach.

The gang, whose ages ranged from 21-31, planned, co-ordinated and executed offences during which vehicles were stolen and used to commit robberies - mostly targeting cash machines and outlets selling cigarettes.

The convictions follow a long-running police surveillance investigation, during which members of the gang were caught on CCTV attempting to break into an ATM machine using an angle-grinder.

DC Richard McCorry, of Stockport CID, said: “In an effort to evade capture, the gang was deliberately chaotic in their choice of venue, moving around the region in the hope that they would not be identified or their crimes linked.

“But as soon as we built up an intelligence picture of who was responsible we monitored them day and night and the evidence was secured, along with forensic and telephony evidence that has resulted in this well-organised crime gang admitting what they have done.”

At 4.40am on December 9, attempts were made to steal cash from an ATM machine at Waitrose in Sandbach. A hired Volvo driven by two of the gang was later seen driving in tandem with a stolen Mercedes.

On February 23, a Subaru stolen from a property in Wilmslow was seen in the vicinity of a burglary that occurred at the Co-op on Lawton Road, Alsager.

The car made off at high speed when police initiated a pursuit of the vehicle. A few hours later, police arrested three members of the gang in Radway Green Road near Crewe.

Members of the gang were sentenced to between 1-4 years in prison.