Three men convicted of cash and carry break-in

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THREE men, believed to be part of an organised crime gang, have been convicted after being caught breaking into a cash and carry.

Eric Dowds, 48, John McGhee, 47, and David Ferguson, 41, attempted to break into Booker Cash and Carry, in Portobello, Edinburgh.

But following a planned police operation on Thursday 21 October 2010, all three were caught red-handed.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Tue) Dowds was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment, McGhee was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and Ferguson  was sentenced to 200 hours community service.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Crawford, who led the inquiry, said: “The conviction of these men is significant as we believe they may have worked with others to commit crimes against businesses throughout Scotland.

“These crimes have had a notable impact on the country’s business community.

“Following the arrest of these men, a dedicated team has been working from Livingston investigating similar offences which we believe may be linked.

“Once the inquiry is complete, a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal with additional charges and accused.”

DCI Crawford went on to emphasise the successful collaboration that led to these arrests: “My officers have been working with security managers from businesses across the country in an effort to detect outstanding crimes, and try to prevent future incidents.”

Detective Superintendent Willie Semple, Chair of the Scottish Commercial Crime Group, said: “This is a first class example of good partnership working between police, other law enforcement agencies, and the commercial business sector. 

“The Scottish Commercial Crime Group will continue to work together to reduce business crime in Scotland to create a safe and secure trading environment, but also to prevent and detect serious organised criminals.

“The Scottish Commercial Crime Group will examine the ever increasing need for law enforcement and the business community to work in partnership with one another in a more joined up way in order to make a positive impact on commercial crime. It will also look towards emerging threats in specific industry sectors and how to mitigate risk in these areas.

“With important links in the production, storage and carriage of commercial goods including computer components, tobacco, liquor and other high value products we will always have a finger on the pulse of all the arterial routes in the country and an understanding of the threats facing commercial businesses across Scotland.”

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