Gang's spree of 41 burglaries and robberies included Santander in Farnborough, jury hears
A gang accused of committing 41 offences across the south-east stole car licence plates from residents in Sandhurst to facilitate their robberies, a court heard this week.
The four men currently standing trial in Winchester Crown Court continue to deny the charges against them, which include the January 2012 robbery of the Santander bank in Farnborough.
Andrew Smith, 27, of Montrose Avenue, Slough; Stewart Last, 28, of Filmer Road, Windsor; Richard Loveridge, 27, of Ditton Road, Datchet; and Lee Fitzgerald, 37, of Perrycroft, Windsor make up the gang who are said to have stolen two number plates, one from a VW Golf, from houses in Sandhurst between August 31 and September 1 2011.
The plates were stolen from the cars of people who prosecutor James Newton-Price said have 'nothing to do with this case'. They were then allegedly attached to various suspected stolen cars, which the gang are said to have used during their six-month crime spree.
The court heard that Fitzgerald acted as a ‘facilitator’ by hiring a lock-up garage at a farm near Windsor in Berkshire which the gang used as a ‘base camp’ for their large scale conspiracy, which is said to have included more bank robberies in Fareham and Havant as well as a string of other offences.
The trial began last week and on Monday, the jury heard more details of an attempted robbery in Hertfordshire, at the Berkhamsted Golf Club in August 2011. The court heard the evidence of Natalie Ravenscroft, who runs the club and was working on the night of the incident.
She described seeing two masked men attempting to break into the building using a crowbar, and said she found the experience 'terrifying.
They did not manage to enter the club but caused considerable damage to the shutters at the entrance.
They are also accused of taking £85,000 from Farnborough's Santander after hitting a security guard with a sledgehammer on January 9 2012.
The trial, which is expected to last for around another three weeks, continues.