A man who went on the run after being involved in a gang responsible for a series of violent robberies has been jailed for 15 years.
Last year five people were convicted for their involvement in a gang which carried out a number of violent robberies at shops across the region.
Scott Bowman, fled to London in December 2018 in an effort to evade capture, knowing he was wanted in connection with the offences.
While the other members of the gang were sentenced to a combined total of almost 60 years in prison - and then extended periods on licence - for their involvement in August last year, Bowman thought he’d got away.
But he was found by our officers in Coventry in January this year. He was arrested, charged and remanded into custody.
The 30-year-old from Sewell Highway, Coventry, pleaded guilty to two robberies on the second day of a trial at Warwick Crown Court and was sentenced to 15 years in prison - with an extended five years licence period - on Tuesday, (14 July).
A major investigation by the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) unmasked the gang which saw them and Bowman force their way into a Co-op in Stretton, Derbyshire as staff opened up in February 2018.
Workers were tied up with cable ties and threatened with a crowbar before the gang made off with £13,000, stamps and lottery cards.
He was also involved in a raid at a Co-op in Shepshed, Leicestershire, just before 6am on 10 May.
He and his accomplices forced their way into the shop using crowbars. Staff locked themselves in an office and raised the alarm, but the men got away with cash, stamps and CCTV from the scene.
Evidence collated by officers from our regional organised crime unit (ROCU), against the gang included text message conversations discussing stolen cigarettes, CCTV footage showing gang members carrying out recces of targets and footage of some of the men wearing clothing they later wore during robberies.
DCI Will Henley, from West Midlands ROCU, said: “This was a really violent gang, who used high levels of violence to get what they wanted.
“Their actions were shocking, demonstrating a total disregard for their victims who were terrified by their ordeals.
“We were able to build a really strong case, and secured hefty convictions against the others involved in the gang.
“Bowman thought he’d got away, but we were able to track him down and make him face the consequences of his actions.
“We’re committed to bringing the most dangerous criminals amongst our communities to justice.
“The length of this sentence sends out a strong message to those involved in organised crime. They can expect to spend many years in prison when we catch them and we’re relentless in our pursuit to find those who try and evade capture."