Birmingham: Thieves arrested after stopping at McDonald’s

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Three starving car thieves were caught in the act by police after stopping at a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Rory Fitzgerald, 24, Harry Beresford, 21, and Zachary Shellis, 25, had ordered burgers and fries after getting “the midnight munchies”.

But the police were hot on their heels.

The men were arrested for stealing 20 luxury cars worth £500,000 while waiting outside the Bristol Road branch of McDonald’s in Birmingham.

Police had been searching for the infamous trio after they were spotted trying to break into garages just before midnight on November 17, 2020.

They then drove away empty-handed in a black Peugeot with a distinctive “space-saving bike” on the back.

The vehicle was collected 30 minutes later and police followed it into a McDonald’s drive-thru – where all three were then arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Officers found balaclavas and gloves, and while searching the trio’s phones, discovered photos of them posing with and driving stolen cars.

gang arrested mcdonalds birmingham

The trio were arrested by police outside McDonald’s (Image: West Midlands Police/SWNS)

Gang members found McDonalds Birmingham

This is the moment the police caught up with the car thieves (Image: West Midlands Police/SWNS)

One video showed Fitzgerald rummaging through a woman’s purse before driving off in her fancy BMW.

The trio were also seen searching the woman’s home while Beresford filmed.

After stealing a 55-inch TV, a man is heard chanting, “I don’t just take cars, I take the big TV.”

Another video showed one of the group holding car keys stolen while a voice was heard saying: “What’s that, eight cars in one night, OK then”.

All three men admitted to conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to break into homes between June 28 and November 16, 2020.

Rory Fitzgerald

Rory Fitzgerald, 24, has been jailed for eight years (Image: West Midlands Police/SWNS)

zachary shellis

Zachary Shellis, 25, has been sentenced to five years and five months in prison (Image: West Midlands Police/SWNS)

Harry Bersford

Harry Beresford, 21, has been sentenced to six years and three months in prison (Image: West Midlands Police/SWNS)

At Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, Fitzgerald was sentenced to eight years in prison, Beresford to six years and three months and Shellis to five years and five months behind bars.

West Midlands Police Detective Constable Kevin Cockayne said: “After arresting her in the drive-through we initially charged her with three offenses – but the full extent of her offenses became apparent when we analyzed her phones.

“They broke into apartments to get keys to high performance cars like VW Golf, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

“No victims were confronted, but they caused damage to houses, concerns for the victims and many inconveniences.”

Police recovered 12 of the stolen cars, including one of two Mercedes-Benz.

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Justin Scacco

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