Hungry £500k car theft trio arrested while ordering food at McDonald's Drive-Thru have been jailed - The Bromsgrove Standard

Hungry £500k car theft trio arrested while ordering food at McDonald's Drive-Thru have been jailed

Bromsgrove Editorial 1st Oct, 2022 Updated: 1st Oct, 2022   0

THREE car thieves who got the midnight munchies shortly after trying to crowbar open garage doors in Northfield were arrested as they ordered food at a McDonald’s Drive-Thru.

West Midlands Police stopped driver Rory Fitzgerald, along with Harry Beresford and Zachary Shellis, on the take-away in Bristol Road.

Officers had received reports of a group of men trying to force entry to garages in Tessall Lane just before midnight on November 17, 2020.

The raiders had fled the scene in a black Peugeot with a distinctive ‘space saver’ wheel on the back.

Night time traffic patrol officers picked up the vehicle 30 minutes later and followed it into the drive-thru where all three were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Balaclavas and gloves were found in the car and examination of their phones revealed photos and video of them posing with stolen cars and driving them away.

In total Fitzgerald, 24, Beresford, 21 and 25-year-old Shellis were linked to more than 20 stolen cars with a value of around £500,000.

One video showed Fitzgerald rummaging through a woman’s handbag following a burglary in Aldridge overnight between November 9 and 10, 2020, before making off in her BMW.

And in a video from Beresford’s phone filmed during the same break-in one of the trio can be heard singing “I don’t just take cars me, I take the big tele” as they stole a 55-inch TV.

Another shows one of the group holding stolen car keys while a voice says ‘what’s that? Eight cars in one night? Okay then’.

Watch the moment they were caught and the videos of them committing their crimes below.

The three men were charged with conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to burgle homes between June 28 and November 16, 2020.

They admitted the charge and at Birmingham Crown Court on 30 September they were all handed lengthy prison terms.

Fitzgerald from Walsall Road, was jailed for 96 months, Beresford from Dulwich Road, for 76 months and Shellis from Anerley Road – all in north Birmingham – were jailed for 66 months.

Investigating officer, Det Con Kevin Cockayne, from West Midlands CID, said: “After being arrested in the drive thru we initially charged them with three offences – but the full scale of their offending became clear when we analysed their phones.

“They broke into homes for keys to high-performance cars like VW Golfs, Mercedes-Benz and BMWs. No victims were confronted but they caused damage to homes, worry for victims and lots of inconvenience.”

Police recovered 12 of the stolen cars, including one of two Mercedes-Benz taken from the same Bromsgrove driveway on October 2, 2020.

Police traffic units which patrol through the night on the lookout for car thieves are having great success.

Last year the force’s dedicated car crime operation – called Operation Cantil – saw 1,000 stolen cars recovered and more than 2,000 suspects arrested.

For more information on crime prevention and protecting property, visit the UK Police approved Secured by Design website: 


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