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    Pair of c-store burglars locked up in Cheshire

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    A pair of burglars who used to target convenience stores across north west, including Warrington, have been locked up after they left fingerprints during one of the recent robberies.

    According to local reports, Adam Donoghue and Peter Neary have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit commercial burglary and were sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday (21).

    The court heard how the duo were charged with targeting 14 premises across Cheshire and Wirral between July 3 and December 12, 2021. It is estimated the pair took cash and cigarettes worth thousands of pounds.

    Among them were One Stop stores on Howson Road in Orford and Park Road in Great Sankey, as well as McColl’s stores on Warrington Road in Penketh and Lovely Lane in Whitecross. They had also trageted Londis on Thelwall Lane in Latchford, the shop at BP petrol station on Warrington Road in Penketh and WH Smith at Lymm Services.

    During most of the incidents, the pair used a distraction technique to commit their offences, with Donoghue approaching a staff member and asking to speak to the manager. He would then complain that a family member had been sold a vape or alcohol when they were underage.

    While this was going on, Neary would attempt to access stockrooms or office spaces with the aim of taking quantities of cash. In the later incidents, the duo reportedly became more brazen and even used to threaten to follow staff members home.

    The duo was arrested on February 2 this year, after officers pieced together CCTV footage and forensics taken from two incidents in Wirral. One piece of evidence was fingerprints left on a Lunchables box. The duo were subsequently charged with the offences the next day following questioning.

    Donoghue, of HM Prison Altcourse, was jailed for eight years and six months, while Neary, of HMP Preston, was locked up for six years and nine months.

    The sentences were welcomed by DC Richard Connolley, who said that Donoghue and Neary thought they were untouchable, attempting to target premises across Cheshire and Merseyside in a bid to be undetectable.

    “However, as they continued, the more careless they became, and our officers were already onto them. This sentence is a great result and will see Donoghue and Neary behind bars for a substantial amount of time. We will continue to do all we can to crack down on those who think they can come into Cheshire to commit crime.”

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