Car thieves who stole £500,000 worth of luxury cars were caught when they stopped at a McDonald’s drive-thru for a bite to eat.
Footage showed the moment Rory Fitzgerald, 24, Harry Beresford, 21, and Zachary Shellis, 25, were arrested as they ordered their burgers and fries at the takeaway in Bristol Road, Birmingham.
Police linked the group, all from Birmingham, to more than 20 stolen cars, including VW Golfs, Mercedes-Benzs and BMWs.
The men admitted conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and conspiracy to burgle homes between 28 June and 16 November, 2020, and were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.
Fitzgerald was jailed for eight years, Beresford was jailed for six years three months and Shellis was sentenced to five years and five months behind bars.
Police had been hunting the trio after they were spotted trying to break into garages just before midnight on 17 November, 2020.
They drove off empty-handed in a black Peugeot with a distinctive ‘space saver’ wheel on the back.
A traffic patrol picked up the vehicle 30 minutes later and followed it into a McDonald’s 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.
A video showed Fitzgerald rummaging through a woman’s handbag following a burglary in Aldridge, before making off in her BMW.
While ransacking the house, Beresford filmed the trio while one can be heard singing: “I don’t just take cars me, I take the big tele,” as they steal a 55-inch TV.
Another video shows one of the group holding stolen car keys while a voice says: “What’s that, eight cars in one night, OK then”.
Detective Constable Kevin Cockayne, from West Midlands Police, 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, Worcestershire, driveway on 2 October, 2020.