A GANG of armed robbers who raided shops around the county has been jailed for more than 30 years.
The crooks struck at shops across South Yorkshire between March and April, stealing thousands of pounds to fund their drug habits.
Their crime spree included a March 30 raid at the Co-op on Grange View Road, Kimberworth, plus another at the McColl’s on Oaks Lane, Kimberworth, on April 18.
Shane Murphy (41), Richard Savory (47) and Robert Dillon (73) threatened staff members with knives or claimed that they had a gun.
They were sentenced for their parts in seven robberies and two attempted robberies at Sheffield Crown Court last week.
Murphy, of no fixed abode, received 16 years in prison after admitting seven counts of robbery and two of attempted robbery - which included the two Rotherham robberies.
Savory, of Nether Shire Lane in Sheffield, was found guilty of two counts of robbery and one of attempted robbery, receiving 12 years.
Dillon, of Bridle Stile Close, admitted one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery — he was sentenced to 30 months.
Investigation leader PC Simon Windsor said: “These men are calculated and violent criminals who deserve every second of their time behind bars.
“With Murphy as their ring leader, they threatened innocent people with knives, putting them through a horrendous ordeal to fund their significant drug habits.
He added: “Although no-one was injured during any of the robberies, their actions have left staff and members of the public traumatised.
“I hope this case serves as a stark warning to anyone who thinks they are above the law.”
Detectives used CCTV, DNA techniques, items left at the scene and automatic number plate recognition technology to trace the three men.
PC Windsor added: “It is thanks to the bravery of the victims and witnesses that this gang is behind bars.
“I hope that this result will offer them some comfort. I know that the gang’s actions have caused them significant distress.
“I hope they can now get on with their lives, knowing that the offenders will be locked away for a long time.
“I would also like to thank every officer involved at every stage of these investigations — in particular Det Con Ben Taylor — who all worked tirelessly to bring the offenders to justice.”