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Foiled computer blaggers jailed for 38 years

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A group of seven men have been jailed for a combined total of 38 years over a failed raid of a Gloucester-based computer reseller.

The London-based gang were arrested by armed police last December in the process of attempting to break into the warehouse premises of Comstor UK in Cirencester, Gloucester.

The Christmas Eve raid was doomed from the offset because the blaggers had been under surveillance by Flying Squad detectives for months, following a tip-off.

They were arrested after driving to the site in two cars and a pair of vans armed with "coshes, ammonia, heavy-duty tape and handcuffs", the BBC reports.

Caught red-handed, each of the seven was forced to admit conspiracy to commit burglary over the foiled raid. Comstor's warehouse contained computer equipment worth £26m at the time of failed blag. The vans used by the gang were capable of carrying up to £4.5m in stolen booty, according to police estimates.

The gang's ringleader David Thomas, 37, from Luton, was jailed for seven years for conspiracy to rob and two-and-a-half years for perverting the course of justice.

Harrow Crown Court heard that Thomas was caught on tape offered a Flying Squad detective a £50,000 bribe in exchange for help in derailing the case against him. "The Flying Squad officer exhibited integrity and courage in playing the role of a corruptible officer and ensuring that Thomas could be additionally prosecuted for this crime," commented Detective Superintendent Gordon Briggs.

Lyndenn Willoughby, 36, of Enfield, north London was jailed for seven years for conspiracy to rob while the other five defendants each received various prison terms for conspiracy to commit burglary. Atilla Kadir, 35, of Woodberry Down, north London; John Tripp, 22, of no fixed address; Tyrone Brown, 25, of St Paul's Road, north London and Paul Lewis, 32, of Blackstock Road, north London were each jailed for four-and-a-half years. Anthony Diop, 34, from Hackney, north east London, received a lesser sentence of three-and-a-half years imprisonment. ®

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