Video: Police snare Cornish gin thieves on the M42 near Birmingham

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West Midlands Police has released dramatic footage of a chase to catch Cornish booze burglars

Dramatic footage shows the moment five crooks were caught near Birmingham hours after stealing £90,000 of premium booze from a gin distillery in Cornwall.

Police chased the gang who stole gin, rum and champagne in a daring heist before fleeing in a getaway lorry. The thieves raided a gin distillery in Wadebridge, in the early hours of September 8 last year.

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Police were alerted and a HGV was spotted on the M5 on cloned plates and was tracked onto the M42. A rolling road block was put in place and the lorry was stung causing the tyres to deflate.

Footage shows the driver career along the M42 and exit at junction 9 where he continued around the roundabout. He then attempted to join the motorway exit slip-road the wrong way, driving into oncoming traffic.

Cornish booze burglars Adam Leek (left) and Sam HallCornish booze burglars Adam Leek (left) and Sam Hall
Cornish booze burglars Adam Leek (left) and Sam Hall | West Midlands Police / SWNS

A police vehicle attempted to block the lorry resulting in severe bruising and whiplash to one of our officers. The lorry hit another car, causing minor injuries to three people, before another police vehicle rammed the lorry into the central barrier.

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The driver of the lorry immediately made off across the busy all lanes of the motorway but was caught a distance away. The front seat passenger was also arrested on the grass verge. Inside the back of the lorry, officers found three men with the stolen alcohol.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the theft had been extensively planned and each of the gang had designated roles. The premises and offices were ransacked, bottles of alcohol were opened and smashed on the floor and entry points were damaged leaving thousands of pounds worth of damage.

  • Getaway driver Adam Leek, 40 of Birmingham, was jailed for five years and eight months after he admitted conspiracy to commit burglary, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, dangerous driving, disqualified driving and without insurance. He was also banned from driving for 65 months.
  • Front passenger Sam Hall, 29 of no fixed address, was jailed for 31 months for conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of a class B drug.
  • James Delaney, 37, Joshua Selvey, 23, and Reiss Crombie, 32, all from Birmingham, were each jailed for 33, 28 and 28 months respectively for conspiracy to commit burglary. Selvey was also convicted of possession of a class B drug.
  • Delaney failed to appear at court for a second time and was sentenced in his absence. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

(L-R) James Delaney -  Joshua Selvey -  Reiss Crombie.Photo released February 29 2024. See SWNS story SWMRheist. Five men have been jailed for a booze heist and a lorry chase spanning several counties(L-R) James Delaney -  Joshua Selvey -  Reiss Crombie.Photo released February 29 2024. See SWNS story SWMRheist. Five men have been jailed for a booze heist and a lorry chase spanning several counties
(L-R) James Delaney - Joshua Selvey - Reiss Crombie.Photo released February 29 2024. See SWNS story SWMRheist. Five men have been jailed for a booze heist and a lorry chase spanning several counties | West Midlands Police / SWNS

Inspector Sion Hathaway, from Central Motorway Police Group, said: “Our officers are highly trained at driving in unpredictable and dangerous situations. They continually assess any pursuit to determine risk to the subject vehicle and other road users.

“The driver of the lorry had only one aim, which was to avoid capture, no matter the cost to other members of the public. We were assisted by the National Police Air Service to bring the incident to conclusion as safely as possible.

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“The brave actions of my staff are a reminder of how police officers don’t hesitate to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. Had the officers not taken positive action to stop this vehicle the consequences could have been catastrophic.

“The serious injuries suffered by two officers left them in severe pain and needing lengthy treatment, which they are continuing to recover from today. I applaud their actions on the day which no doubt prevented potential injury to members of the public.”