An armed gang responsible for an 18-month ram-raiding spree are awaiting sentencing after being found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court.
The gang netted about £500,000 cash and caused another £500,000-worth of damage during the string of ram-raids and robberies carried out at c-stores and post offices across East Anglia throughout 2004-2005.
The guilty verdict of the seven men brings to a successful conclusion an operation involving four police forces. Operation Arctic, launched in August 2004, involved officers from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, who investigated more than 80 attacks on c-stores in an 18-month period. The gang were linked and charged with 25 of the attacks.
Barry Street, 22, Thomas Curtis, 24, John Curtis, 26, and Rocky Curtis, 18, as well as John Smith, 24, and Stacy Smith, 22, all pleaded guilty. A further man, Rocky Buckley, 20, was also convicted for his involvement although he claimed not to have participated in any of the armed raids.
Anglian Convenience Stores in Harleston, Norfolk, was one of the stores targeted by the gang. Manager Tracy Nobbs said: "It's good to see they have been found guilty and it helps everyone to move on. They caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to this store alone and it's right that they are going to pay for what they did."
Cambridgeshire chief constable Julie Spence added: "This was a major operation against a highly organised and mobile gang which terrorised parts of rural East Anglia with unprecedented violent robberies."